That’s the first word that comes to mind after witnessing St. Vincent’s headlining show at The Depot Friday night.
The sonic experimentation marking the evolution from her older music toward the sounds filling her excellent new self-titled set, as well as her Love This Giantcollaboration with David Byrne a couple years back, indicated that her current “Digital Witness Tour” would be an altogether different live experience.
It certainly is that, and then some. As much theater or performance art as rock show, on Friday Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) combined choreography designed by Annie-b Parson (who worked with her and Byrne on their tour) with her stunning voice-and-guitar stylings into a cohesive, visually stunning show that risked being off-putting, but easily avoided that fate through how damn entertaining the whole thing was.
Backed by a sparse three-piece band that included synth player/guitarist Toko Yasuda, keyboardist Daniel Minsteris and drummer Matt Johnson, St. Vincent entered the relatively bare stage in a sort of robotic trance, launching into the throbbing opener on St. Vincent, “Rattlesnake.”
Roughly two-thirds through that song, a guitar seemingly appearing out of nowhere led to the first of several stunning solos that allowed the audience to remember that underneath the carefully cultivated performance, a living, breathing rock star exists. Clark is a passionate player, and those moments were the easiest points for the audience to connect with the artist on stage.
Elsewhere, it was easy to simply get sucked into the spectacle as Clark rolled across a small pyramid-type structure on stage, or danced with Yasuda.
The show included most of St. Vincent‘s songs, as well as some older cuts like “Cheerleader,” “Northern Lights” and the title track from Strange Mercy. Throughout, the music was on point, never getting swallowed by the spectacle. Clark is an artist who knows how to pull a show together, and it’s hard to imagine she’ll ever deliver a boring gig in her life.
Friday night’s show convinced me that I’ll never miss one if I can help it.