Amy Winehouse @ Highline Ballroom

It’s been an interesting ride over the past few months in the career of Amy Winehouse. The jazzy UK soul siren has doubled as a media maven amidst rumors swarming of failed interviews, performance absences, and flirtations with the diabolical Mr. Booze. So when her second successful showcase in New York was about to commence (May 9, 2007), fans were both anxious and skeptical that the show would actually happen. With doors opening at 6pm and Amy’s curtain call at 9, looks of horror filled fans faces by 9:20. By 9:30, they were frantic, edging closer to the stage hoping that this wouldn’t be another near miss performance that they’ve read about in the Post. Within minutes a slender figurine with an amazingly impressive partial bouffant shadowed the back curtain of the Highline Ballroom. Enters Miss Amy Winehouse. Clad in a checkered crop top and hip-huggers like the hot cousin at a family picnic, Amy took to the stage timidly unaware of her presently iconic status in the music industry. ?uestlove secured a front row station to the left of the stage, which is only a mere suggestion of the adoration that filled the room. Amy worked the crowd with her 10-piece band, interjecting older material from her previous Jazz days before getting down to the beloved Back to Black. She’d shyly mumble quick hellos and thanks to the crowd up until the title track, where the sassy Amy finally emerged. Perhaps it was due to some unruly fan attempting to touch her hair seconds before a much lighter happier “Back to Black.” Whatever it was, the girl from the album finally appeared. Backed by humming keys and thorough bass, Amy gyrated and wiggled through flawless renditions of “Wake Up Alone”, “Tears Dry On Their Own” and her badass remake of “Valerie.” Throughout her entire set, she exchanged loving glances to her mysterious darling as he cheered the loudest for her, making the already intimate setting even more personal. Concluding with “Rehab”, she coaxed whining fans through the “don’t worry there’s an encore” process. Exiting the stage with more confidence than she entered with, Amy re-emerged within minutes donning a wifebeater, geared to encore the evening with “Me and Mr. Jones” and “You Know I’m No Good.” Amy Winehouse met and exceeded any expectations of how the young vixen should sound on her best night. Perhaps now the press in attendance will be less inclined to swallow her whole knowing that she is potentially one of the greats.