For the past four years PBS has brought to its public a series of rare and intimate glimpses into the world of live contemporary musical performance. Its Emmy nominated series, Artists Den, has featured musicians from a wide range of genres. Their most recent episode showcases the triumphant return of British pop sensation, and notable button-pusher, Lily Allen.

Allen, who has been on hiatus for a number of years, swings back in 2014 full force with her album Sheezus (a medley of highly comprehensive and contemplative tracks which take aim at society and culture at large, complementing her male contemporary Kanye West’s Yeezus). Known for her charisma and stamina, Allen’s live performances seem to mesh seamlessly with the otherwise foreign element the Artists Den broadcast introduces into the concert setting.

Hours before the event doors open, a substantial line began to form outside of the Manhattan Theater (the filming and show itself taking place upstairs in the lesser known, and substantially smaller, Ballroom). Fans lucky enough to win tickets, through (sometimes multiple) entries on the Artists Den website, were treated to a full-length concert—true also of their other filmings. In store for fans on this evening were portions of Allen’s Sheezus, classics off of Alright, Still (2006) and It’s Not Me, It’s You (2008), a slew of fully backed dance ensembles, and some audience sing-alongs.

All and all, Allen put on a wildly entertaining show. Fresh and confident after years of inactivity on the tour circuit, she manages to keep her audience captivated, at ease, and adoring of her antics and lyrics. Her connection with her fans is apparent from the moment she sets foot on stage and her interactions throughout the show solidify that this is no fluke on her part (engaging audience members, allowing them to sing into her mic, and at one point even noticing the adornments of a woman standing in the front row—pulling her on stage to share with the rest of the room).


Be sure to visit the Arists Den’s website for your chance to win tickets to upcoming events around the country. Check you local PBS listings for airdates.