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photos by James Richards IV, words by Claire O'Connor
In a stark contrast to her last visit to Chicago, Annie Clark of St. Vincent really gave it to her fans and the city. The show was flushed with "silver linings," as Clark put it, and it was a statement that rang true as the night progressed. Complete with storytelling sessions and a strobed-out light show that could put Crystal Castles to shame, this was not only a different Annie than we saw in October, but a whole different show. At the sold-out Vic Theater on Friday night (May 11), 2011's Strange Mercy held court, with peaks and excerpts from 2009's Actor and 2007's Marry Me. As they've been doing for a hot minute, the band also meticulously covered The Pop Group's "She's Beyond Good and Evil," following it up with St. Vincent's newest release and elected stage-dive number, "Krokodil."
Fitted with her standard leather hot pants and "how does she wear those" high heels, backed by keyboardists Toko Yasuda and Daniel Mintseris and drummer Matt Johnson, Clark not only added dimension to songs on her most recent album, Strange Mercy, but equally changed their language. Their set opened with a Mooged-out "Marrow," followed by fan-favorites "Cheerleader," "Chloe in the Afternoon," Actor Out of Work," "Black Rainbow," and "Cruel." Before diving into "Dilettante," Clark described how it is a love story, almost a love/hate note, to New York City. She then said, "New York is just a lesser Chicago, the Chicago of the East Coast." All in attendance liked that a lot (myself included).
Clark broke out a theremin for "Northern Lights" and jumped back and forth between that and her guitar, an eccentrically fantastic effort that was one of the highlights of a show filled with many. As "Krokodil" closed the set, Clark abandoned her guitar, sat on the shoulders of a bouncer, and dove into the crowd arms first singing "sweet krokodil-dil-dil." Covering what seemed like the entire standing floor area, pushed back and forth with a summersault mixed somewhere in there, she never stopped singing. The audience went nuts and it was the perfect way to end the set. The band quickly returned to the stage for the one song encore of "Your Lips Are Red," an extended version they've been playing on tour.
Austin, TX's Shearwater opened the show and we've got pictures of both acts below...
St. Vincent - 5/11 the Vic setlist:
Chloe in the Afternoon
Save Me From What I Want
Actor Out of Work
Year of the Tiger
She's Beyond Good and Evil (The Pop Group cover)
Your Lips Are Red