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St. Vincent - The Antidote
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Published:
Oct 13, 2011
Total plays:
19,513
Saved:
38 times
Sounds like: Andrew Bird, Beck, Wilco,
Why do we like this?
I've been listening to St. Vincent's Strange Mercy ad nauseam since getting my hands on it a couple months ago, and it's quickly become one of the leading candidates for my favorite album of the year. I think Christiana put it perfectly in her review, in which she described Annie Clark as "fearlessly and unapologetically creating a one-woman genre," so I was especially excited to see her present the album live at the intimate Metro last week.

Clark definitely carries a tremendous stage presence. Towering over the Metro stage, clad in leather shorts, black tights, and high heels, her curly mop top suggested a certain feline friskiness; she whispered double-entendres while seemingly twirling her guitar's notes into nooses, all without batting those dewey-eyed Disney-bride eyes. (I certainly hope Andrew Bird had Clark in mind when he wrote "Fake Palindromes".)

Clark began the night with the virtuosic single "Cruel," before growling the words of Marilyn Monroe: "Best find a surgeon/Come cut me open," during "Surgeon." The cozy setting took on a heightened resonance during "Northern Lights," when the small theatre filled with smoke poured over in purple and blue lighting. Surveying the crowd from the balcony, the stage appeared lost in a cosmic sky.

Although the set highlighted "Strange Mercy," Clark still included a fair assortment from 2007's Marry Me and 2009's Actor into her set. Presenting a piercingly protracted "Party," she announced the words with a slow, steady resolve as if to stab them into the audience's consciousness. A seemingly unstable ball of energy, ready to go supernova at any moment, she shouted, "I think I'm FUCKING MAD!" while shredding through "Actor Out Of Work."

Although still a technically great show, there were a few moments it lacked emotional resonance -- when Clark's distinctive guitar solos failed to shine through the muted-sound set up. Having played the Metro several times before, I also felt the band could have headlined a more sizable venue. Behind the strength of Strange Mercy, both commercially and sonically.

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