Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kurt Vile Played Amnesia - Photos, Review

It takes a fair amount of talent to get a crowd to stick around at midnight on a Sunday. It takes even more to get that same crowd to eagerly line up at the end of the show and dole out hard earned cash for test-pressing 7" vinyl. Last Sunday at Amnesia, Kurt Vile managed to do both those things and then some, delivering an awesome set of abstract rock and roll, with support from only one other musician (j turbo?).

The two took to the stage a little before 12, and immediately delved into Vile's signature sound: Dark, murky vocals, pedal-tweaked guitars, and undeniably accessible melody. Meanwhile, his compadre on stage broke out an array of instruments, ranging from harmonica, to saxophone, to electric guitar. The set was definitely tight, but we can imagine if you had no familiarity with Vile, perhaps a little difficult. Luckily, it seemed like almost the entire crowd was in for the long haul.

The most interesting aspect of Vile's performance was the almost effortless carelessness with which he tossed off the songs. Much of the most accessible material in his catalogue almost seemed to annoy him to the point where he would blow through them. By contrast, some of the most intricate and played out jams were on songs that Vile has yet to record. In short, he seemed to be suffering to some degree from the short attention span that often plagues prolific writers.

By the end of the set, we (along with the rest of the crowd) were thoroughly impressed by Vile's songwriting and performance. Perhaps the only downside was that the man never showed his face, and that he didn't play "My Best Friends". Still, as they say, there's always next time. We're pretty sure that "next time" be in a larger venue, and that Vile's popularity will be steadily climbing. In short, the guy is the real deal - and we expect that realization to keep growing across the music world in the coming months.