TVD Live Shots: St. Vincent at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, 11/21

Part of me wants to tell you everything about this show—the show that I arrived in Louisville a day early (for family Thanksgiving) to see. But a bigger part of me just implores you to go see her if you haven’t already. I mean, it’s St. Vincent. She is meant to be seen live. There is a reason I’d travel to other states to see her.

I will tell you a few things about the “Fear the Future” tour. In St. Vincent’s latest incarnation, she continues to explore and expand her roles—musician, actor, performance artist, director, designer, celebrity—and the relationships between them, through them. The evening begins with a viewing of her surreal short film The Birthday Party, followed by Part One, select cuts from her first four albums.

Part Two is her latest triumph, MASSEDUCTION, in full. (And can I say that it’s really cool to experience an album from start to finish, just as it’s meant to be heard.) The whole time it’s just St. Vincent on the stage—no band, though the music sounds live. Just her and her angular, petite, customized guitar that’s as thoughtfully designed as everything else in her world.

I would call this show a success not just because of Annie Clark’s wild talent, captivating presence, or production efforts. Rather, I’d call it a success because it’s stuck with me. I’ve caught myself thinking about the show and about what it’s wrestling with: love and loss, fame vs. reality, sexy vs. corny, hard vs. soft, vulnerability vs. appearance. This is what performance art is all about—and it’s just one of the many things of which St. Vincent excels.

SETLIST
Part 1

Marry Me
Now, Now
The Strangers
Actor Out of Work
Cruel
Cheerleader
Strange Mercy
Digital Witness
Rattlesnake
Birth in Reverse

Part 2
MASSEDUCTION

Hang on Me
Pills
Masseduction
Sugarboy
Los Ageless
Happy Birthday, Johnny
Savior
New York
Fear the Future
Young Lover
Dancing With a Ghost
Slow Disco
Smoking Section

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