Kurt Vile and The Violators at The Vid – 12 October 2009

Another one I have been meaning to post but just got around to, here is my coverage of the Kurt Vile show at The Vid. It was a little disappointing because I love The War on Drugs so much and they were amazing when I saw them. This is my coverage from The Live Buzz, reproduced here (Photographs and text by me).

Originally published on The Live Buzz, 14 October 2009:

Kurt Vile and The Violators doing what they do best

I went to The Vid last night to see some hazy bedroom pop and what I got was four long-haired dudes playing rock ‘n’ roll.

Not too bad.

I arrived right at the end of Normanoak’s set (who knew a show at The Vid would start on time?) when Kurt Vile and company stepped out to grab a smoke and some of their merch. Vile had only good things to say about Normanoak, which is great to hear from an up and coming artist. It bums me out when I hear artists talk shit about openers just because they are often not well known.

After hanging around outside, I secured my place at a front table. It turns out this wasn’t really necessary because the lighting was terrible and I couldn’t take pictures anyway. In terms of photography, I follow a strict anti-flash policy.

Vile took the stage with The Violators around 10:30, starting with an extended psychedelic jam. Obviously inebriated, Vile played the next song “for the ladies.” The set included most of the songs from his newest album, Childish Prodigy, as well as old favorites like his self-proclaimed “smash hit,” “Freeway.” Not having prepared a set list, he fielded audience requests multiple times. Nobody requested “Free Bird,” but there were a surprising number of people requesting “Benny and the Jets” (although he did not abide).

I have a feeling I was too close to the amps to be able to hear everything clearly, so feel free to disagree with my assessment of the sound. The vocals were pretty garbled and it was hard to distinguish the three individual guitar parts. On the albums this haziness seems to work and it adds to the ambiance, but it was more of an annoyance live. I liked that it was loud and it definitely rocked, but the pop elements that were present on the record were virtually nonexistent live.

Kurt Vile

Most of the time when you say, “This is our last song,” you do it into the microphone so people know. Well, when you are inebriated and prone to knock your microphone stand over, these things escape you. Luckily, Vile played two one-song encores, mostly solo. He played “Dead Alive” and then “Peeping Tom.” I was particularly surprised when he played “Peeping Tom” by himself, since it requires decent finger-picking skills, which not everybody possesses when they are drunk. But Vile is a rock star. They rock and roll all night and part of every day! He played it like a champ and it was probably my favorite tune of the night since I could actually hear what he was singing.

Packing up after the show I overheard many people talking about how much it rocked, and even though I didn’t entirely share their enthusiasm I had a good time. Vile and his ragtag team of frizzy-locked guitar players didn’t rock my world, but they gave my ears a good thrashing and isn’t that what live music is all about?


~ by masterodisaster on October 19, 2009.

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