St. Vincent’s seemingly endless tour wound back through Chicago this past Friday, expanding from the smaller Metro to the hallowed halls of the Vic Theatre.
Annie Clark presented a tightly packed set to the sold-out crowd, playing what have now become standards off of her first two albums, 2007′s Marry Me, and 2009′s Actor, though she still relied heavily on her most recent masterpiece, 2011′s Strange Mercy. Opening with the schizophrenic “Marrow,” that pleads “H-E-L-P/Help me, Help me,” it seems Clark needs little help at all, as she continues to forge ahead crafting a sharply distorted, sometimes deranged, one woman genre seemingly all its own.
Playing through the majority of Strange Mercy, “Northern Lights” was, as always, mesmerizing. With swirling colored lights seemingly recreating the aurora borealis, Clark shocked the audience back to attention with her mastery of the theremin, which left me completely stunned. Switching back between polite, self described “Vh1 story tellers” tales and screeching guitar solos, Annie Clark has the kind of stage presence that leaves one completely enamored. She is the complete package, a common sense musician accomplishing a far reaching vision. A vision that she shared includes exciting collaborations with former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne on the horizon.
The highlights though came at the end of the set, when the band covered The Pop Group’s “She Is Beyond Good And Evil,” and Clark crowd-surfed through her newest single “Krokodil” before returning to the stage to close the night with a deeper cut off of 2007′s Marry Me, “Your Lips Are Red.”
St. Vincent’s current live show is in the upper echelon of live rock acts, and appears to be on a path to keep producing awe-inspiring music for a long time to come. The current tour continues on throughout the United States, with a stop at Bonnaroo, before embarking over seas for an extended world tour including stops throughout Europe and Japan.