Tag Archives: miami

Your skin’s so fair it’s not fair

St. Vincent changed my life.

Okay, I know that sounds a little dramatic, but it was easily the best show I’ve ever been to and music is my Jesus, ergo Annie Clark is just as much a god as I knew she would be.

St. Vincent performs at The Fillmore Miami Beach.

St. Vincent performs at The Fillmore Miami Beach.

I arrived at the Fillmore at Miami Beach for the Digital Witness Tour about 40 minutes prior to showtime and after a quick pit stop at the merch table where I purchased (and subsequently cut up) a shirt with the St. Vincent album art on it, I was able to get relatively close to the stage, the crowd still thin. The venue was gorgeous. A tiered pit with seats overlooking the stage as purple and white lit chandeliers dangled overhead.

The crowd was disappointingly small as showtime approached, but as the opener cleared the stage (a lone dude with a guitar whose songs went on for waaay too long), the crowd thickened and I was able to get right up to the bar. Front row.

The lights dimmed and an automated voice asked the “fellow analog” humans to enjoy the show for what it is and not through a cell phone (a request I promptly ignored. Sorry, Annie).

The opening song Rattlesnake began, it’s synth cords repeating as Annie Clark danced to the intro while the crowd screamed with delight.

The show then rocketed into a stream of songs, old and new, including Digital Witness, Cruel, Marrow, Birth in Reverse, I Prefer Your Love, Prince Johnny and Laughing With A Mouth of Blood. Each song had Clark either performing choreo with Toko (her bassist) or rolling around on the stage like a robot-cyborg possessed simultaneously by Keith Moon and Sylvia Plath. She easily played 20ish songs, which was absolutely mind-blowing.

Clark stopped twice to address the crowd, “While I don’t know you, I know things about you,” she said gently as the room quieted, hanging on each word. She described how we were born before the twenty first century, how sometimes when you walk on a street you pretend that people are celebrities or don’t have hands if they’re tucked into a sweater. How you smile and your lip curls down. All insane ramblings from the mind of a genius.

St. Vincent performs at The Fillmore Miami Beach.

St. Vincent performs at The Fillmore Miami Beach.

Clark finished the show with an encore of Your Lips Are Red, a song I’d only heard once prior to the show, and is now probably not only my song of the moment, but easily one of the best songs I’ve ever heard live. Your Lips Are Red is like a hive of bees that has just fallen to the ground. It hums and you wait as the tension builds until it breaks into screaming guitars and Clark writhing alive with the ghosts of rock and roll past.

At one point, Clark climbed onto the shoulders of a security guard and held her guitar over the audience for the mobbing hands to grasp and play. She came inches in front of me, just a mere finger-length away. I was looking into the face of a silver-haired god.

I can’t really put into words what her show was, but it was something else. Something worthy of the title of brilliance.

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Watch me jump right off the London Bridge

St. Vincent is tomorrow! I have been looking forward to this concert for months. If you haven’t listened to St. Vincent before, I would describe her as the Alexander McQueen of music. Her sound is avant garde and warmly disjointed. Melodically disconnected dissonance. To say it’s unique is being subtle.

Her last album, the self-titled St. Vincent, is an ode to the age of technology, where Annie Clark (St. Vincent) takes us on a skittering cyborg’s journey through the twenty first century. The single off the album, Digital Witness, has Clark crooning lines that resonate with the millennial generation in a way most artists have struggled with:

Digital Witnesses, what’s the point of evening sleeping? If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me, what’s the point of doing anything?”

Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent.

Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent.

One thing that I absolutely adore about Clark is her ability to intertwine literature, poetry, pop culture, satire and modern apathy into her songs. The final track on the St. Vincent album, Severed Crossed Fingers, is an homage to American novelist Lorrie Moore’s “Collection of Short Stories.”

“He thinks of severed, crossed fingers found perfectly survived in the wreckage of a local plane crash last year”

A song about hope even when the situation is completely hopeless. I love the imagery. Clark said in an interview “You’re really hoping it works out, and in the end it just doesn’t.”

Her previous albums such as Strange Mercy, Marry Me and Actor are equal masterpieces. Strange Mercy (my favorite album) is self-described by Clark as her interpretation of a 60s housewife on barbiturates. Songs like Cruel, Strange Mercy, Cheerleader, Surgeon and Chloe in the Afternoon are equally avant garde but have a more conventional melodic composition, occasionally spinning out into the disjointed dissonance, which is more prominent on St. Vincent.

She’s also just a total bad ass guitar goddess who puts most dudes to shame. Her insane riffs will raise the hair on the back of your neck and send butterflies humming in your gut. She’s that good.

Her shows are highly choreographed, and the rest of her band are in on the action. During songs like Birth in Reverse her bassist and keyboardist will perform choreo, perpetrated by Clark. It’s an over-the-top, confusing, brilliant performance from top to bottom.

St. Vincent will be playing at The Fillmore in Miami tomorrow night and you can expect a full breakdown of the show here on Tuesday. See you then, digital witnesses!

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