LIVE REVIEW: St. Vincent + Noveller @ The Wiltern, LA 3/21/14
It’s been many years that Annie Clark has performed under the moniker St. Vincent. Yet with her most recent self-titled release and tour – including her shocking new platinum hair and cerulean painted eyes – it’s become clear that Clark has fully merged with her stage persona. Shuffling onto the stage with robotic ballerina-like moves, she set the scene from the very start, backed by a looming white pyramid. Clark waxed on about the city of Los Angeles, citing our strange subway and belief systems, transitioning smoothly into “Marrow”. Something about the Art Deco decor of the Wiltern paired with Clark’s talk of our dystopian culture and her animatronic-like movements had us thinking of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
At times the performance seemed to be building toward something, but then we were left wondering if Clark’s antics were simply for show. Her talents shone brightest in between these jerky movements as she focused on her distorted guitar shredding. During set closer “Krokodil” Clark got up close and personal with the crowd, writhing around on the stage’s floor in a fit. Her band sped up as the song progressed while Clark seemed to be breaking down in a robotic malfunction.
After several minutes of applause and cheers, Clark appeared once again on stage, this time alone atop the white pyramid. Opening the encore with a very minimal version of “Strange Mercy,” Clark brought a moment of clarity after a fit of rage. In a world of repetitive rock bands, we love seeing what St. Vincent brings to the table. Sure, there may be a few kinks that could get worked out, but the solid building blocks of great talent are there.
From Brooklyn, solo artist Noveller whipped up some sublime guitar loops. Paired with the fog swirling around the stage, artist Sarah Lipstate nearly had us wondering if we were actually in a dream state.
View a full gallery of St. Vincent’s animatronic guitar shredding HERE!