Posted in music | pictures on November 4, 2011

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

Cate Le Bon

Twinkling blue lights covered the backdrop of the stage like stars when I arrived at Webster Hall last night (11/3), but as if to mirror the sparse simplicity of opener Cate Le Bon's brief solo set, everything faded to black when the Welch singer-songwriter appeared carrying a single electric guitar. Themes of heartbreak shaped Le Bon's songs, injecting a note of sadness into her deep, rolling voice. Though much of her older material is in Welch, Le Bon sung in her native tongue just once last night - to cover the Gruff Rhys song "Pwdin Wy 2."

Though Le Bon later lent backing vox to St. Vincent, the contrast between the performances of the two female artists was stark. The lights and effects were minimal for Cate Le Bon, but for the main act, columns of rainbow-colored light shone through the thick, machine-generated fog. A master performer, Annie Clark easily matched the intensity of the light show with her explosive guitar solos and urgent lyrics, often introducing slight deviations not found in the recorded versions of her songs to keep things interesting. Though covered in shadows for the majority of the evening, her backing band of 3-4 was solid.

Clark drew heavily from her most recent album, the excellent Strange Mercy, omitting just one song ("Hysterical Strength"), but she also peppered her set list with a handful of older songs, like "Marrow" and the buoyant "Actor Out of Work."

Apart from her sheer talent - Clark's voice was flawless, what made her performance so compelling was her ability to channel both her sweet and kick-ass sides. One minute, she was charming the audience with stories of chatting up eccentric bar tenders and sneaking into cemeteries to chase deer, and the next she was crowd surfing while playing the guitar. I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at the appropriateness of the title of her chosen cover, The Pop Group song, "She Is Beyond Good and Evil." At one point, a debate broke out in the audience:

"Shred it Annie!" someone yelled.

"She doesn't shred!"

"Yes she does!" a third person quickly countered.

"What is this, a live Twitter feed?" Clark joked.

I do believe this debate was resolved several times over.

Clark wrapped her show with a two-song encore of older songs, ending on "Your Lips Are Red," the only song from her debut album that made the cut. Annie also stage dove during the song, continuing to play on the crowd, but then back on stage in time to sing "your skin's so fair it's not fair."

Despite the annoying strobes that started to take over as the night progressed, St. Vincent's show will undoubtedly make it into my top ten list this year.

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St Vincent's tour comes to an end in Boston tonight, but you can catch Cate Le Bon again Monday at the Rock Shop.

More pictures and the setlist from Webster Hall, below...

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St. Vincent set list
Surgeon
Cheerleader
Save Me From What I Want
Actor Out of Work
Chloe In The Afternoon
Dilettante
Cruel
Just the Same But Brand New
Champagne Year
Neutered Fruit
Strange Mercy
She Is Beyond Good And Evil (The Pop Group cover)
Northern Lights
Year Of The Tiger
Marrow

Encore
The Party
Your Lips Are Red
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Comments (33)

On the real, Annie Clark can get it. for shiz

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:14 PM

Musicians from Wales are Welsh. Musicians named Florence or Gillian are Welch

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:19 PM

These photos are excellent!

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:28 PM

So would.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:32 PM

how come i could not access this on the mtv thing? i am stupid?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:37 PM

I'm guess most of the crowd in front lost their virginity that night from touching annie?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:39 PM

the ecstasy of st. vincent

saw what I did there

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:40 PM

photos are excellent? really?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:44 PM

The lighting was a bit much for this sized venue. They were "cool" but they were also cold, alienating almost. And her banter came off as scripted, made for MTV. She and the band were great though, especially in The Pop Group cover, when she was really shreddin'.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 12:53 PM

What? No mention of the great Matt Johnson on drums (Jeff Buckley's drummer).

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 1:23 PM

was toko from enon there? can't tell.

i like toko from enon.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 1:39 PM

This show was great. Kind of surprised she played the entire new album, save one song. But her voice is crystal and the band was on. Loved her surfing with the guitar. Why doesn't any artist with 3 albums play longer than an hour and 15?!

Posted by Steph | November 4, 2011 1:40 PM

Despite the annoying strobes that started to take over as the night progressed, St. Vincent's show will undoubtedly make it into my top ten list this year.

hahahah hilarious!

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 1:48 PM

Legs.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 2:15 PM

The second she landed in the crowd i bum rushed my way up there. Got a handful of everything and a finger in just the right place.

Oh what a night


Also, does anyone else love the fact that it is so easy to shove loser hipsters out of the way at concerts to get a nice spot whereever you want. Bunch of pussies.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 2:21 PM

^ 34 year old virgin who was not at show.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 2:35 PM

Taking advantage of female crowd surfers is pretty much the lowest of the low

Posted by AnonHUMMUS | November 4, 2011 3:07 PM

x-ray please

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 3:17 PM

"^ 34 year old virgin who was not at show."

Please loser,don't let your jealousy take over and start projecting who you are onto others

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 3:38 PM

Yuppies.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 4:52 PM

Jealous of groping a crowdsurfing girl? Man, you REALLY need to get laid.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 6:45 PM

Oh wow! That is Matt Johnson on the drums. I saw him playing drums in Lila Icles or whatever the hell that band is called. It was sureal seeing him playing in such a small room. This is probably a much better gig with St. Vincent. Also I applaud girls that wear shorts with tights even when it is cold out. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 8:23 PM

6:45 LOL and very right!

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 8:32 PM

2:35/6:45/8:32 is the same loser livid that the internet called him out.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2011 9:30 PM

getting a piece of crowdsurfer tit is so hot. cuz then when i get home i run one out thinking about dropping my load all over that crowdsurfer whore's big f'ing tits.

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2011 1:26 AM

I'll bet she has a nicer snatch than the jacuzzi girls do.

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2011 8:23 AM

"2:35/6:45/8:32 is the same ..."

Fucking die already you witless loser.

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2011 8:45 AM

^^^^ Woe Lulz, that guy really is angry. Got up at 8:45am on a Saturday to check the comments on him. Relax you pathetic scum, it's only the Internet.

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2011 12:53 PM

These photos are OK.

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2011 1:28 AM

nice sticks

Posted by Anonymous | November 8, 2011 7:53 PM

s p in do ct or s

Posted by Anonymous | November 18, 2011 4:46 PM

iPods

Posted by Anonymous | September 11, 2012 4:42 AM

super fun

Posted by jordon | August 12, 2013 4:13 PM

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