The music industry is such that everyone is trying to stand out and produce something different – most successful bands are able to make this happen. And then there is St. Vincent: a true talent who, so naturally, presents herself and her music in a way that is impossible to ignore. There are very few comparisons that I can think of. Seeing her live show at the Brown Theatre last week certainly solidified her rank as truly great performer for me.
Annie Clark is an example of an artist who has fully committed to living her act. The mystery of her real life blurs the line with her performances unlike anything I’ve really seen. Usually we talk about how an artist connects with their audience through honest, real interactions. St. Vincent doesn’t really do that, but she drew in and identified with her (at first reluctant) audience anyway.
The few times that she spoke, her words flowed out in such a tactful yet expressive prose, just like her singing. She called out to all of the freaks and different ones, finding the things that we all had in common – though I’ve never stolen a pair of $6.95 Tupac socks, I kind of want to try it now. Her bountiful vocabulary and ability in storytelling not only made your scratch your head, but equally woke the room up.
St Vincent’s artistry, though clearly innate, is also very strategic. Everything is very precisely planned out even down to the movements that she makes, all with specific purpose. For example, during “Digital Witness” we saw her checking her pulse in very striking motions, which aligns with the theme of the song. Throughout the first half of the set we experienced the fluid yet robotic movements between Clark and her talented bassist Toko Yasuda. The amount of precision exhibited grew into less refined and more erratic displays as the evening progressed – ripping guitar solos from the floor and making her way around the entire theater – but was clearly formulated nevertheless. The dichotomy to St. Vincent’s performance shows her versatility and understanding of how to ensnare an audience.
At a show this last week, Annie Clark was in the wild phase of her performance and climbed up on to a speaker that fell. Not to downplay how terrifying that probably was, it goes to show the passion that St. Vincent gives to her crowds night in and night out. She will continually have her audiences hanging on every odd word that escapes from her mouth and entranced by each move her statuesque frame makes.