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Monday, February 25, 2008

St. Vincent at the Warhol

CONCERT REVIEW: St. Vincent w/ Foreign Born
February 25, 2008
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh

"It's good to be here at the Dandy Warhols Museum," joked Annie Clark in her deadpan style. "It's strange that a mid-'90s alternative rock band would have a museum. It seems too soon, is all."

Clark brought her St. Vincent outfit to the Warhol, and they played most of her debut album Marry Me, opening with her best song in my estimation, "Now, Now." The quirky songs were sufficiently quirky, with Clark switching between a regular mic and one that distorted her vocals (which came in especially handy on "Paris is Burning"), and the loud, rocking songs were sufficiently loud and rocking, with Clark spastically jerking away at the strings on her guitar while her three bandmates played electric violin, clarinet, bass, drums, melodica and bells.

The Warhol is an unusual indie rock venue because its theater-style seating encourages patrons to sit still and be quiet (Vampire Weekend had to beg the crowd to stand up and be energetic when they played here two weeks ago.) But Clark seemed quite at home, eagerly stopping several times to tell jokes or pass along stories from the road. It's been so long since I saw a show where the artist chose to chat up the audience, I'd forgotten how enjoyable that can be.

Openers Foreign Born were easy on the ears, with a pleasant style that was part spacey, part jam band, part sensitive acoustic folk rock. "Union Hall" was the song that stood out most. Their music is worth tracking down. But tonight was all about St. Vincent, and I feel bad that I've only recently come to the St. Vincent party. I've missed out, for sure.

MP3: St. Vincent - Now, Now

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