Patti Smith rocks the Royal Albert Hall in its 150th anniversary

Last night I was one of the 5200 people who witnessed a legendary concert by punk rock icon Patti Smith (organised by Crosstown Concerts) at the Royal Albert Hall which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. 
 
The poet laureate of punk rock and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is known for uniquely fusing rock and poetry in her work. And surely last night’s performance will make history. Patti’s energy at 74 was contagious and able to create a memorable vibe that will stay in my heart forever.
 
Only someone of Patti’s stature could achieve this. After all she has spent half a century on the road with poets and rock stars, combining music and literature in the most original ways. Her work is not mainstream but somehow her poetic songs seem more relevant now than ever. She sings about rebellion. Her voice echoes the voices of Extinction Rebellion and Me Too movements. The London crowd last night was completely in tune with Patti’s ironic dialogue and interacted with her showing love and admiration in equal measure throughout the gig. 
 
 
The concert was magical from beginning to end. Patti’s first hit “Dancing Barefoot” immediately drew the audience in and showed her seduction power – ‘she is sublimation’, she says – and positive energy. Rarely a musician can make you feel alive in the same way Patti Smith can. Unsurprisingly, she is referred to as a musical legend. 
 
Other songs and poems welcomed with standing ovations and excitement from the crowd included 1974 poem Piss Factory which described Patti’s teenage years in New Jersey, where as a factory ‘moral schoolgirl’ worker she was a “hard-working asshole” annoying the other workers with her dreams of becoming a star in New York City. Her beautiful memoir Just Kids telling lots of Patti’s ambition and life as a rising star won the National Book Award in 2010.
 
The acoustic version of “Grateful” was just mesmerising and Patti thanked the audience for having kept hold of their tickets for almost two years during the pandemic. She also welcomed to the stage her kids who play with her and the band: daughter Jesse and son Jackson. 

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