Friday, May 22, 2009

St. Vincent @ Webster Hall

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of seeing the immensely talented St. Vincent play at Webster Hall. Opening for her was Pattern is Movement, whom I had never heard before. They were... bizarre... but I always mean that in a good way. When the two lumberjack-looking men came onstage, I definitely did not expect the floating experimental music or dancing falsetto that came from them. They are really something else, so much so that I can't even really think of bands to compare them to. The vocals are kind of operatic and the music is dramatic, heavy, light, poppy, dark, and avant-garde all at the same time. It's what I imagine the soundtrack would be if Stan Brakhage were still alive and directed a modern rock opera, but happier. Can you tell I'm really having trouble describing it? They seemed to have a pretty decent fan-base at the show and they were pretty much the perfect openers for St. Vincent - very talented, weird and unique. I'm very glad to have found them to add to my music collection. The only downside of being right in front of the stage was that I was literally being assaulted by the bass drum, which got distracting. Since I had so much trouble describing it, though, take a listen for yourself (plus I found this great Beyonce cover).

St. Vincent was, of course, amazing as usual. She really is a virtuoso, playing complicated guitar parts and singing complex vocal lines with ease. Plus she's simultaneously gorgeous, adorable and a little goofy. She played mostly new stuff, and I will say that I'm sad she didn't play my two favorites ("Jesus Saves" and "Paris is Burning"). She did do a couple of old classics though, particularly for the encore. And she played all my favorites off her new album. She may have played almost the entire album, actually. The highlights for me are the darker numbers where she rocked out a bit, such as "Actor out of Work" and "Marrow." For those of you who haven't heard her new album, Actor (which came out May 5th), definitely check it out. At first I didn't love it as much as her last album, but it's definitely growing on me more and more. Now that I think about it, that's probably how her first album was too. I guess I'm just not quite genius enough to appreciate the album to its full extent without multiple listens. This album is supposed to be inspired by Prince, but I only hear that in a few songs really. Most of the album seems more whimsical and less dark than her last one. I think another thing is that I always love St. Vincent's music even more once I've seen her perform it live, because seeing her talent in person is so thrilling, so I am sure I will be obsessed with Actor within the next few days.

And in case I don't sound obsessed enough, here's tons of pictures as more proof.

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