ST. VIN­CENT The Olympia, Dublin

Hot Press - - Critical Mass Live -

If ever you needed a warn­ing about knee­jerk hys­te­ria on so­cial me­dia, St Vin­cent’s Fear The

Fu­ture tour pro­vided it. Hav­ing com­pleted her UK gigs, Twit­ter was abuzz with whin­ing (sorry, com­plaints) about Annie Clark’s lat­est ex­cur­sion. The first part of the show found the set be­ing slowly un­veiled as a curtain was grad­u­ally drawn back; ap­par­ently to some at­ten­dees, the fact that there was no band was shock­ing, as it made the ex­pe­ri­ence less au­then­tic and im­pos­si­ble to head bang to (or some­thing).

As Clark her­self has pointed out, shows be­ing played by a sin­gle per­former are never an is­sue in hiphop. She has de­scribed Fear The Fu­ture as a “live Le­mon­ade”, which ac­tu­ally sums it up nicely. The lack of a band might leave the singer more ex­posed – and the early part of the gig cer­tainly feels dif­fer­ent to a nor­mal rock con­cert – but this is re­ally a per­for­mance based around her own dis­tinc­tive style and charisma.

Dressed in an all-pink en­sem­ble of a body-suit and thigh-high PVC boots, St. Vin­cent spends the first half of the set play­ing a min­i­great­est hits set, with the jagged art-pop of ‘Dig­i­tal Wit­ness’, in par­tic­u­lar, beau­ti­fully cap­tur­ing the con­tem­po­rary zeit­geist (“What’s the point of even sleep­ing/

If I can’t show it?”). The se­cond part of the show, mean­while, con­sists of Clark’s al­bum-of-theyear con­tender, Masse­duc­tion, per­formed in its en­tirety, with some bril­liant arty vi­su­als mak­ing for a daz­zling multi-me­dia ex­pe­ri­ence.

The mu­si­cal con­tent is ex­cit­ing enough, but St. Vin­cent re­ally ce­ments her con­nec­tion with a cou­ple of be­tween-song speeches. First, she an­nounces that a re­cent DNA test re­vealed she’s “80 per­cent Ir­ish” (cue wild cheers); while later, she speaks about the im­por­tance of the com­mu­nal ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered by gigs in these fraught times.

For­get the Twit­ter guff – this was an out­stand­ing show by one of the great­est artists of her gen­er­a­tion.


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