Words by Gabrielle Duhon
When it comes to things I love, I often tend to show my affection in extreme manners. This was certainly the case on Thursday night, as I sat outside the Moody Theater for over four hours in the blistering cold, in hopes that I’d be up front for my one of my favorite musicians, St. Vincent. Thankfully, my hours of suffering paid off because I had a perfect view for what would be an intimate and unforgettable experience.
St. Vincent, born Anne “Annie” Clark, in Dallas, Texas, is known for many things: her flamboyant clothing choices, her bombastic guitar solos, her highly-publicized relationships, and most importantly, her distinctive songwriting which often includes jazz orchestrations, synthesizers, and heavy lyrics about the toils of life.
Clark, notorious for her theatrics, certainly designed her Fear the Future Tour with entertainment and artistry in mind. The show was divided into three different acts followed by an intermission after the first two acts, as if it were a theatre performance. Act I was performed by jazz duo, Tuck & Patti, who happen to be Clark’s aunt and uncle. The couple graced the stage with such soul and love for each other. Hearing the intricate guitar technique from Clark’s uncle William Tuck felt familiar to me, being a huge St. Vincent fan for years. It was obvious how much of Tuck’s skill had vastly influenced Clark's playing. I couldn't help but smile throughout the entire act, for the duo were just so welcoming.
"We know you guys love Annie, but we love her more", said Clark's aunt, Patti Cathcart.
Act II focused on Clark’s previous work – her most popular hits from each one of her past albums in chronological order. The act itself felt almost like an encore, for she played every fan-favorite right off the back. She began acapella with “Marry Me”, a deep cut from her debut album. Her performance began softly, just like how her early work is, up until the explosive guitar drop of “The Strangers,” which happens to be my favorite song by her. With each album she covered throughout this set, Clark’s performance crescendoed with volume, visuals, and excitement. The further she progressed into the act, the more recognizable songs became to the audience and by the end of Act II, the crowd was on fire along with Clark.
Act III, titled “Masseduction,” was Clark playing all of her latest album in its entirety. As an avid concert-goer, never have I heard an artist play an entire album in order, and I really hope to see it again in the future. After listening to Masseduction from start to finish numerous times, it was an experience seeing it live in its entirety, just how Clark intended for it to be seen and heard. It was also cathartic, for I knew exactly how the show would end, with emotional ballads “Slow Disco” and “Smoking Section.” In between this act, Annie stopped to talk to the audience for a bit, singing a rendition of her single “New York” but saying "Austin" instead. She reminisced about attending keg parties as a teenager at the University of Texas while her sister was a student. It was apparent that Clark felt very at home playing two sold-out shows in her homestate of Texas with her family on tour.
Like mentioned, the setlist ended on a somber note, but that was not the case in the Moody Theater. A large smile beamed across Clark’s face as she said goodbye to her roaring audience. On one of the coldest nights of the year, Clark gave a performance that could warm the hearts for the few lucky Austinities in attendance.