St. Vincent at Liberty Hall, 10.7.11

(Photo by Fally Afani

Summing up this show is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be, hence the lateness. Forgive me if it’s a bit cloudy.

Cate Le Bon opened the show, yet another opener who happens to be a female guitar playing, singer-songwriter. I’ve said it before, I’m not against these types of acts, and I won’t deny that Cate (or any other female, guitar-playing opener I’ve seen recently) has a beautiful voice or talent, but they all seem so similar to me and overall, just kind of uninteresting. 

As for St. Vincent (or as I like to affectionately call her- “St. Vinny”), well she was great, and the audience loved her. Her band was very clean, stoic, business-like, and focused, whereas her fans (maybe just intoxicated…) were quite boisterous and didn’t hold much back to show their undying love for Annie. 

Throughout the show I heard many “Marry me Annie!”, “I love you”, and “I want to have your children” type comments, which is always entertaining. Annie remained unfazed though…I bet she’s used to it. 

Annie went from song to song with ease and executed them all just about perfectly. She paused between songs every now and then and kept us enthralled with her stories. She told us about how her sister went to college in Lawrence and at one point exclaimed “I spent at least seven nights of my junior high and high school career very drunk here” -which of course brought a round of snickering from the audience. 

Before they began playing “Just The Same But Brand New”, Annie shared a little story about her interior designer friend who once had a client who was a very old lady. This lady hadn’t redecorated her home since the 1950’s, so when Annie’s friend asked the old lady what she wanted in the new decor, she simply replied that she wanted everything “just the same, but brand new”. Annie left the story at that, but it made me want more stories, more talk. She’s such an interesting person. 

Eventually the band got to a song that was arguably one of my favorites of the night- The Pop Group cover of “She Is Beyond Good And Evil”. Annie’s set was pretty intense overall, but this grungy cover bumped up the rock’n’roll feel of the show a considerable amount. I loved the blinding strobe lights, hazy smoke machines, and nasty guitar licks…they added to the raw atmosphere of the show in the best way possible. 

As I watched the organized chaos in front of me, all I could think about was St. Vincent’s evolution from Marry Me to Strange Mercy, to this cover. My theory is that if she continues to progress in the way that she has with each of her albums, getting a little bit more intense and cutting each time, her next album may be as aggressive and as bold as her Pop Group cover. 

After a couple more songs she exited the stage and the crowd began the most raucous encore cheer I think I’ve ever heard. Everyone was cheering of course, but then everyone began the stomps and claps that grew faster with each moment. She and the keyboard player returned to the stage and as he played, Annie sang “The Party” to us in the most gorgeous, dreamy, and euphoric way possible. The rest of the band returned to the stage to close out the night with “Your Lips Are Red”, leaving the crowd pleased, but ready to go home and sort out the cacophony of the evening.  

It was a show I won’t soon forget, and one that jogged me a bit (in a thought-provoking way). If you have a chance to catch her on this tour, check her out. St. Vincent won’t disappoint. 

See the Setlist here

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