St. Vincent at Middle East Downstairs, March 1, 2008
PERFECT? Well, Annie Clark — a/k/a St.
Vincent — certainly put on a great show.
Does Annie Clark have to be perfect? She looked stunning in a black, low-backed dress with silver accents, her dark frizzy mane offsetting a pale, slender face. She thanked the crowd, and she seemed shocked and pleased to find she’d already amassed a loyal Boston following — one big enough to sell out the Middle East’s downstairs room well in advance of her show on Saturday. She was by turns sweet, sarcastic, and funny, sharing a story that took in 16 1987 gold Toyota Corollas that “ran on hopes and dreams,” taxidermy, and Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper.” She has cool friends: Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer popped on stage to provide the cheery, chirping background vocals for “Marry Me.” And she put on a great show, proving that she’s an equally talented songwriter, instrumentalist, and singer.
Clark played guitar while singing as cleanly and expressively as she does on Marry Me (Beggar’s Banquet), her 2007 debut, from which all the evening’s material came. Nothing sounded like a canned replica from the album; the most notable difference was the presence of violinist David Hart, who added feverish tremolo to the start of “All My Stars Aligned” and a bluegrass solo to “Human Racing.” Clark’s guitar skills were more apparent live than on the album, which focuses on her vocals. When she wasn’t singing, she’d step away from the microphone, slashing her black and red guitar in the air as her fingers scaled up and down the fretboard. It can be maddening to be in the presence of someone who seems to have it all. But her talent and her passion left me wanting to proclaim from the mountaintops that I love Annie Clark too.
: Live Reviews
, Iron Maiden, Annie Clark, David Hart, More