I drove straight from Austin to Fitgerald’s last night to see the St. Vincent show. Arrived during the third song. The room was packed but I love being tall sometimes. It means I can stand behind a wall of people and still see the stage. It also means banging my head on Fitz’s low upstairs ceilings.
Beyond a few YouTube clips, I went into the show blind — but I left a fan. I admired what they were able to achieve with such a small configuration and the sheer power of their music. The band is the brain child of Annie Clark, a Berklee drop-out from Dallas (other notable Berklee drop-outs include John Mayer, Melissa Etheridge, and Roy Hargrove).
Ms. Clark, who also plays a mean guitar, was joined by a synth bassist (punching lines on the Moog Phatty), a drummer (Houston’s own Matt Johnson), and a hirsute gentleman on keyboards and laptop. They relied on a few tricks to fill out the sound, most notably Ableton Live and other laptop-isms (drummer with headphones, keyboardist with Mac). There were strobes and backlighting. The bass was thunderous. At the same time, they were all excellent musicians, a point brought home by the encore duet with her keyboardist.
Afterwards, we stood in the merch line in pursuit of vinyl — another indie artist committed to keeping the LP format alive! Hers’ includes a download coupon for an mp3 version too (thank you).
The room cleared quickly except for a few die-hard fans, the crew now working feverishly to disassemble the stage, load the bus and trailer, and depart for New Orleans. The line moved slowly, so by the time we approached I noticed the band had returned to the stage to assist in the demolition. From pop stars to post-gig schleppers. Some things never change.