COMMODORE BALLROOM, MARCH 25, 2014
St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) has always been a virtuosic guitar player and catchy, clever songwriter, but her latest Vancouver appearance proved that she’s blossomed into a full-blown art freak.
This is, of course, a good thing, and this became apparent from the moment she appeared onstage in a pale, boxy dress that had red pieces of fabric sewn onto the front as if at random. Daubed in gaudy eye makeup that was visible from the back of the room, and with her wild hair dyed silvery white, she performed strange interpretative dances during the circuit-fried opening passage of “Rattlesnake.” A stagehand gave her a guitar by the end of the song, which was capped off with a mind-blowing display of six-string heroics.
Clark was joined during the show by a drummer and a keyboardist with a laptop, while sidewoman Toko Yasuda played synth and guitar while joining Clark in a few of her simple synchronized routines. The stage was simply decorated with a small raised platform at the back, and Clark draped herself across it while crooning the gorgeous ballad “I Prefer Your Love.”
When she wasn’t dazzling onlookers with her fiery fretwork and oddball dance moves, Clark made a few peculiar speeches between songs, listing off all of the things that she and the crowd had in common. These included lighting fires with a magnifying glass, believing that babies are psychic, being nicknamed “Peaches” by our friends and fearing divine retribution for lying.
It was truly bizarre, but as this night proved, weirder is better when it comes to St. Vincent.
By Tim Winm
Photo by Jess Desaulniers-Lea