Chalk it up to either the unresponsive L.A. crowd or the half-hearted effort from the band, but Blur’s show Wednesday at the Palace was yet another example of wasted opportunity by the “other” Brit-pop band currently causing waves on both sides of the Atlantic.
And after seven-plus years together, you’d think these guys would have a better handle on what we Yanks are looking for from our live bands. What we’re not looking for is more of the same lifeless gazing that’s been the mark of U.K. exports since these guys were but school lads.
But that’s unfortunately what Blur delivers. “Good evening,” said smarmy singer Daman Albarn opening the 100-minute show, marking one of the few decipherable things he had to say all night.
The band strolled randomly through its five-album catalog — all of it wildly popular in their native England — never really setting any clear tone or working with any sort of focus or agenda.
For the most part, the band performed its more straight-ahead, ’70s glam and mod-influenced songs — reflecting the tone of their latest disc — and littered the set with sleepy acoustic ballads and noisy punk strains that routinely stilled the moshers on the floor and sent the chattering in the audience through the roof.
The show ended in an appropriately odd and anti-climactic manner. The band left the stage to tepid applause and then forced the very silent crowd to wait 10 minutes before deigning to play not one or two but seven additional songs.