It pays to be in the front row of a Jarvis Cocker show. Not only do you have an unobstructed view of multiple pelvic thrusts, but if you were certain folks within reaching distance of the stage last night at Terminal 5, you got bits of candy. And if you told ex–Pulp front man it was your birthday, you got a free secondhand drink, from his lips to yours. The unlikeliest of sex symbols, Cocker transformed stalwart hipsters into screaming groupies. Some seemed on the verge of fainting during the new song “Girls Like It Too,” and almost everybody lost their shit when he grabbed his crotch, singing “I heard it said you are hung like a white man,” from “Caucasian Blues,” another one destined for his second solo album.
Cocker mused on everything from his 30 years in music (and the ensuing loss of hearing) to Bill Clinton being unfairly reprimanded for “spocking on a dress.” He apologized that “there’s no way I can fuck everybody in this room,” before “Just a Fucking Song,” and his disillusion with U.K. politics and admiration for Barack Obama was the windup for “Running the World” (Lyric: “Cunts are still running the world”). But care as he might for the world, last night was all about the ladies. —Vanita Salisbury