The Roxy Loves Amy Winehouse

[Originally posted March 23, 2007]

Thanks to adritheegreat for the video!

Photos by Marc Goldstein…

Photo Credit: Marc Goldstein
Photo Credit: Marc Goldstein
Photo Credit: Marc Goldstein

For more of Marc’s photos check these out.

Check out the review from the LA Weekly…

U.K. soul mama gets crowned on the Sunset Strip Monday, March 19, at the Roxy
By Ernest Hardy
Thursday, March 22, 2007

“Performing to a sold-out Roxy, Amy Winehouse gave a hilarious intro to the confessional song “You Know I’m No Good”: After she had betrayed a lover, he asked if she even loved him. “I told him, ‘I do love you,’ ” she recounted — adding with playful exasperation, “ ‘But, like, I get bored. I told you I’m no good!’ ” The crowd loved it — and sang every song by heart, all night long.

Winehouse’s top-to-bottom brilliant sophomore album, Back to Black (Republic/Universal), is bursting with great, quotable lines, many as wry as they are poignant. One of the best is tucked in the driving, Motown-based “Tears Dry on Their Own,” where she admits: “Even if I stop wanting you/and perspective pushes through/I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon…”

The word other is key here. That’s the woman who wears the scarlet letter — fallen, disgraced. Winehouse casually conveys volumes through a single word or phrasing choice throughout Black, a breakup album whose defining characteristic is working-class feminine wit. And I mean both types of wit — intelligence and humor, which Winehouse uses intuitively to express how obsession dovetails with addiction. References to booze and boozing, drugging and fucking-as-self-destruction crowd the text of this confessional album. The musical filter through which Winehouse pours it all is the girl-group sound of the early ’60s — the Shangri-Las, the Shirelles, the Ronettes and the Chiffons.

Live, Winehouse was noticeably nervous but utterly charming, singing for an audience who knew all the words to all the songs. She was in spectacular voice throughout, backed by a crack band (man, that horn section . . .) and two chicly attired male backup singers who energetically pulled off synchronized choreography. Winehouse’s own herky-jerky, off-the-beat dancing and ragged emulation of girl-group style somehow underscored an aura of sincerity (a matted beehive with an unkempt tail; an ill-fitting dress that kept sliding down her scary-thin frame; weathered leopard-print shoes rummaged from the back of some tranny’s closet). Her awkward performance of femininity befits a woman who can’t quite figure how to stop fucking up her relationships and her life.

Winehouse may be retro, but her work is, mercifully, irony-free. This is no academic study of girl-group traditions; instead, it’s a gut-level recognition of the strength and beauty of those impeccably crafted records — and the 8-by-10-ready public personas attached to them. For Back to Black, Winehouse gave her producers, Mark Ronson and Salaamremi.com, explicit instructions about the sound and vibe she wanted to accompany her self-penned lyrics. Together, they’ve captured not only the aesthetics of an era (the album is a gorgeous latticework of perfect, anachronistic detail) but also the naked romanticism, and theatrical but sincere vulnerability, of pop gone by. But Winehouse also references kindred artists outside the girl-group heyday: Esther Phillips (whose addiction-filled life and the havoc it wreaked on her career make her the most resonant influence), Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and, of course, Lauryn Hill.

At the Roxy, Winehouse sang everything from Back to Black, including “Addicted” (inexplicably left off the U.S. release, replaced with a god-awful remix of “You Know I’m No Good” featuring a rap by Ghostface Killah). Highlights of the set were “Tears Run Dry” and… it’s hard to say. The crowd’s energy was so intense, and their already-won love so exuberantly given, the night had the feel of a raucous coronation.

What was especially interesting about the performance was the way Winehouse handled her nerves — besides frequent sips taken from a cup at the edge of the stage. She stared down at the stage a lot, then looked up with a sneer or curled lip that evoked gum-popping, eyeball-rolling femmes from Ronettes to B-girls, gangsters’ molls to biker chicks. But there were also fleeting moments when she clearly checked out of her own performance: Her eyes would simply go blank, and she’d retreat behind them. Still, that voice — the sound of mysteriously missing teeth, Spanish Harlem stoops in summer and declarations of undying love — never wavered, and was never less than amazing.”

To read the rest of the review check the LA Weekly

From PerezHilton.com…

Amy Winehouse is such a hot mess!

She is the stuff of legend, and on Monday night a who’s who of hipsters and Hollywood players were treated to a tour de force performance by the Rehab chanteuse.

You never know if Wino is gonna show up to a gig or if she’ll even make it through a show, but she more than held her own at The Roxy.

Unfortunately, fans expecting to see her at Spaceland in Silverlake tonight might be a tad disappointed. We hear she might be cancelling!

Why? Because the venue is too small and they won’t allow her 10+ person band to come with her.

Hopefully that will all get sorted out, but if it doesn’t…..well, that’s Amy Winehouse for ya!

To sing the blues you must live the blues. And she lives it.”

Check out Scott T Sterlings review…

I Was There: Amy Winehouse at The Roxy, 3/19/07

“I guess you could call it pure, dumb luck. It just so happened that I heard about the Amy Winehouse show at the Roxy a couple of hours before my man Jeff Weiss informed me that she was also scheduled to play at Spaceland. Given my druthers, I would’ve purchased a ticket to see her in the much smaller Spaceland. But in my haste to secure a chance to see this notorious UK train wreck up close and personal like, I’d already laid my good money down for the Roxy show. In hindsight, I inadvertently made the right choice, since Ms. Winehouse famously bailed on the Spaceland gig.

I got to the Roxy a good 20 minutes before she took the stage, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such an intense scrum up in that joint. It was packed to the back with an interesting array of Los Angelenos, skewing older than I’d expected.

Worming my way towards the front of the room, I found a choice spot maybe five feet from the stage, off to the right. A very drunk girl stumbles into me, pausing to take off her high heels. Oh boy, here we go. An older couple behind me is drunkenly making out, repeatedly ramming into my back. Really? The things I do for music.

When the lights finally dim and the curtains open, a surprisingly together looking Winehouse saunters up to the microphone to the strains of the Chiffons “He’s So Fine,” looking oddly sexy (skinny legs and all) in a blue prom dress that put her cleavage up front and center and showcased her bevy of tattoos. There were no signs of track marks or “meth skin” to be seen anywhere. She didn’t even appear to be drunk. What gives?

Backed ably by retro R&B outfit the Dap-Kings, our girl sailed through most of Back to Black admirably; her husky croon sounding even stronger than it does on the record. Her voice shined on mid-tempo numbers like the reggae-tinged “Just Friends,” but really soared on the barn-burners like “You Know I’m No Good.” What’s especially impressive is the way she attacks high notes, filling them with pure emotion, the total opposite of showboats like Christina Aguilera who completely overdo it with ridiculous trills and runs that never seem to stop.

Sliding in a verse of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” into “He Can Only Hold Her,” it was hard to miss the irony. Is Winehouse destined for a similar crash-and-burn like the one that beset Ms. Hill? Given her raw talent and limitless potential, I certainly hope not.

She’s comfortable and self-assured onstage. After announcing the evening’s last song to a boisterous chorus of “No!” she joked with the crowd:

“Well, obviously it’s not the last song. We still have to do the encores. I’m just playing the game up here, all right?”

For more of Scott’s review click here.