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LIVE REVIEW: Roskilde Festival 2018 Day 1, 04.07.2018

in Live Reviews by
St. Vincent live at Roskilde Festival 2018

This year’s Roskilde Festival comes amidst a dry summer of almost uninterrupted sun. This leaves us with the quandary of what’s worse, dust or mud? For Wednesday, we’re not sorry for the sunshine. It’s an easy day with great sets and not enough time for the sunburn and dehydration to set in. But someone almost definitely knocked over a piss trough near the Arena stage, so there’s a possibility that things can change very quickly.

Nihiloxica
Nihiloxica, the first band to play the Apollo stage at this year’s festival, brought a frenzied and buoyant energy to start things off. With five percussionists in a row onstage and one synth/laptop/electronics player behind, the group, comprised of four Ugandans and two Brits fused tribal, trance-like African rhythms with modern electronic synth textures that would be equally at home at a dark techno warehouse. The intricate weaving polyrhythms of the Kampala drums were anchored into a tight groove by a western drum kit (although with a large hollowed-out gourd instead of toms) while a smear of fuzzed out dissonant synth tones swirled around it all. The absense of any real melody was striking but it allowed for the rhythmic reverie to remain as the centre of attention. The energy onstage was contagious and crowd was eager to dance along in the beaming sun. — MT

Nathan Fake
British producer and Border Community (and now Ninja Tune) recording artist, Nathan Fake lit up the Apollo stage with his effervescent blend of textural pads, sharp synth hooks and dark, driving techno production. Fake’s set was dynamic and driving and I imagined myself floating around the dancefloor in a sweaty club, only occasionally looking up to fill my field of vision with colour. A bright backdrop of colourful, pixelated pastel landscapes and psychedelic digital 3D renderings that pulsed and churned throughout the whole set. In the festival setting, however, a large-scale vivid display behind a solitary performer takes some of the focus away from the music and the un-sync’d projections were not quite captivating enough to keep my attention. That said, Fake’s energy was on point and his set of blended uplifting chord progressions, deep, propelling bass lines and bubbling arpeggios was seamless. — MT

St. Vincent
Annie Clark is genuinely one of the best guitarists of her generation and she could sell herself on just that if she wanted to. We’re lucky that instead she gives us St. Vincent, currently inhabiting a world of neons and latex, of male band members with pantyhose masks and synthetic wigs, and of off kilter, high definition video projections.

But Clark’s understanding of presentation extends to the way she delivers her songs. There is a rollercoaster of emotion from the way she scuttles around in four-inch heels for “Pills” to the creep-factor of her masked guitar tech looming over her for a somber intro to “Huey Newton;” from the revved up version of “New York” to pure heartbreak of the stripped back “Happy Birthday, Johnny.” Perhaps all of these feelings coalesce when she raises a fist over her head and insists, “Let’s fight the power today,” before launching into “MASSEDUCTION.” She takes us all over the map and acts as if it’s all perfectly natural. And in the end, you believe it is. — AF

Nine Inch Nails
General angst translates well when the earth is a giant trash fire, so Nine Inch Nails are giving us a very state-of-the-world-in-2018 vibe with their set. Trent Reznor brings a startling intensity to everything he does: His vocals, the way he moves at his mic stand, even the way he shakes a tambourine.

The atmosphere is charged and it feels at times like the band are trying to expunge something. Reznor has stated that “there’s too much fucking talking,” and thus careens from one song to the next. Something akin to a mosh pit emerges during “Hand That Feeds,” but in their state, most people are just jumping up and not landing evenly on their feet. For a post-midnight set, there are times when the lights are shockingly bright, and more than one person in the audience was spied with sunglasses on.

It’s still the songs of The Downward Spiral that exist most clearly in people’s minds, and it’s edifying to learn what awkward sing alongs they make: It’s intensely awkward to have a group of people sing the chorus of “Closer.” And as the set comes to a close at 2am, having the words to “Hurt” shouted all around you is one giant bummer. But that’s no fault of Trent’s — he can’t be held responsible for the crowd’s unchecked impulse. — AF

Words by Mikael Tobias and Amanda Farah. Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh.

Photos of the year 2015

in Blog/Photos by
Father John Misty

Photos by Tom Spray, Morten Aagaard Krogh and Amanda Farah

Every year Here Today’s talented photographers capture a little piece of the magic of live performances around Denmark. As the end of 2015 draws closer we’d like to revisit some of the best pictures to have been featured this year, and ask you to vote for the best. Add your email and one lucky voter will win a print copy of the top voted picture of 2015.

Voting ends at midnight on December the 20th.

 [yop_poll id=”1″ tr_id=””” show_results=”-1″]

Photo by Tom Spray
Deafheaven – Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
The Tallest Man On Earth – Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Run The Jewels – Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Foxygen – Photo by Tom Spray
Iceage (Photo by Tom Spray)
Iceage – Photo by Tom Spray

 

Photo by Tom Spray
Paul McCartney – Photo by Tom Spray
Belle and Sebastian. Photo by Amanda Farah
Belle and Sebastian. Photo by Amanda Farah
Viet Cong (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Viet Cong – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Future Islands - Photo Morten Aagaard Krogh
Future Islands – Photo Morten Aagaard Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh
Bob Hund – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Fat White Family photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Fat White Family – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

 

PHOTOS: Roskilde Festival 2015

in Photos by

Bob Hund

Photo by Morten Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh

Communions

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ratking

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Noel Gallagher

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

The War On Drugs

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Father John Misty

Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

St Vincent

St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Foxygen

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Perfume Genius

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Lust For Youth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Pallbearer

Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Hot Chip

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ought

Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Fat White Family

Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Pharmakon

Photo by Morten Krogh
Photo by Morten Krogh

The Tallest Man On Earth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Run The Jewels

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Kendrick Lamar

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Goat

Goat (photo Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Morten Krogh

Nils Frahm

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Deafheaven

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Paul McCartney

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Jamie xx

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Africa Express

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Roskilde Festival: Day 2

in Blog/Live Reviews by
St. Vincent (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Father John Misty (Avalon)

Being the drummer in Fleet Foxes might mean many things, but fun isn’t one that springs to mind. Yet Josh Tillman, performing as Father John Misty, is exactly that: fun. His last album, I Love You, Honeybear, a tongue-in-cheek folk melodrama of heartbreak and vacuity, has cemented his reputation as everyone’s favourite hipster troubadour. He is in fine form at Avalon, despite describing himself as looking like he’s “just crawled out of a coffin”: from bar-room ballads to hillbilly hip-shakers, he moves like a Confederate officer imitating Jarvis Cocker [the sun is frying my brain — ed]The title track has the whole crowd raucously joining in, but it is on the slow, acerbic numbers like “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” that Father John really shines. Turning air-quotes into a dance move might  just be the most annoyingly hipster thing one could do, but there is always an undercurrent of genuine anger or joy that elevates it from ironic posturing. — CC 

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

 

St Vincent (Arena)

When you can play guitar like Annie Clark and sing like Annie Clark, and have songs with the weird energy St. Vincent has, there aren’t too many more demands to make. So when she does a little shuffle around the stage that makes her look like she’s on a treadmill, or does choreographed dances with her keyboardist/guitarist, or comes out on stage on a stretcher, it’s like extra credit. Clark is a compelling performer and manages to attract attention to herself without a flashy stage show. The crowd moves in a blend of dancing and thrashing.

While projecting stories of the audience’s childhood about starting fires with magnifying glasses and making cardboard wings and jumping off houses in an attempt to fly, she holds her fist over her head like a revolutionary. In what is probably the most inspiring sight of the day, teenage girls emulate her — offsetting her other projection that everyone in the crowd was born before the 21-century. Sorry Annie, I’m pretty sure that’s the one thing you got wrong. — AF

St. Vincent (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Perfume Genius (Pavilion)

Mike Hadreas wants to be a pop star. Sometimes. He’s in an in between phase of singer-songwriter at his piano and fuzzy synth-pop savant, which explains why his performance occupied an equally gray area. Listening to him play his quiet songs, they don’t lose any intimacy, which is a feat in itself. But you do wonder how he ended up playing a festival of this nature. Part of it is a failure of setting — he really would have benefited from an enclosed space like Gloria. But part of it is also not really knowing how to play to a festival crowd. “Queen,” his biggest single to date, is a brightly colored burst of energy that pulls an elated reaction from the crowd. Coming in at the hour mark of his set, it would have been a perfect way to end things. But he returns to the stage to round things out with more quiet, intimate songs. It’s lovely, but it belongs in a theatre. — AF

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Pharmakon (Gloria)

Dark, doom-leaden industrial artists make music with scary undertones, but it takes a special effort for them to match that feeling of ill will live. Pharmakon, however, is terrifying. She opens her set at Gloria by smashing what appears to be a rock against what appears to be a cookie tray with a mic taped to it. Visually, it’s a bit confusing, but it’s also loud as shit.

Unlike many electronic artists, Pharmakon doesn’t confine herself to the table behind her gear. She sets loops rolling and then stalks about with a mic in hand. There’s an agitation bordering on rage similar to a cage lion projecting from her, and when she jumps into the crowd, in the darkened space, there is a real feeling of being hunted. It is uneasy, and the noise is sometimes violent, but the only disappointment was that her set was so short. I’ll be eagerly awaiting her return to Denmark, but I also wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley. — AF

Pharmakon (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pharmakon (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Ought (Pavilion)

On paper, Ought do not appear to be any different from most post-punk inspired indie bands. But on their debut LP, More Than Any Other Day, the band captured a freshness and energy that returns much needed vitality to the genre. In a live setting Ought is even better than on record, reveling in repetition and rhythmical nuance, buoyed along by frontman Tim Darcy’s Mark E. Smith-esque barks [I still say he sounds more like the Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano — A]. “Pleasant Heart” jolts in and out of an erratic riff reminiscent of certain Tom Waits records, an instant classic of jerky dance song genre, and “Clarity!” lives up to the enthusiastic exclamation mark in its title. In a genre that often revels in confusing, it is exactly the quality of clarity that separates Ought from their peers. Matt May’s effected keyboards, plugged into a guitar amp, are responsible for this shiny, effortless tone that permeates the record, matched perfectly by a simple-but-spot-on rhythm section. — CC

Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Fat White Family (Pavilion)

Since the release of Champagne Holocaust  in 2013 there has been no band on earth I have wanted to see live more than the Family. Their performances are already semi-legendary in their confrontational excess, earning them the reputation as not the best, but the only rock band left on Earth [Muse’s last-bastion of arena rock performance earlier in the evening suggests that there are, in fact, other rock bands left on earth— A] Emerging out of a self-confessedly awful country band in South London, Fat White Family are a noxious cauldron of primitive garage rock, psychedelia and good ol’ weirdness. They scuttle onto the stage at Pavilion like characters out of an Alex Cox movie, part cowboy junkies, part homicidal hippies. Guitarist Saul Adamczewski seems to be missing even more of his front teeth, which of course only makes him grin and gurn with more enthusiasm, eagerly picking up half-smoked cigarettes thrown onto the stage. Frontman Lias Saoudi finally saunters in with a face like a restraining order, confirming that this evening the band are going to live up to expectations. As the band tear through “Autoneutron”, “Touch the Leather”, “I am Mark E. Smith”, both Lias and the crowd get more riled up, culminating in a series of stage dives and some minor genital manipulation. — CC

Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

SEE ALL THE PHOTOS HERE

PHOTOS: Roskilde Festival 2015 – Day 2

in Photos by

Father John Misty

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

 

Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

St. Vincent

St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Foxygen

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Perfume Genius

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Lust For Youth

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Pallbearer

Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pallbearer (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Hot Chip

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

 

Photo by Tom Spray
Photo by Tom Spray

Ought

Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Fat White Family

Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

 

Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Fat White Family (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Pharmakon

Pharmakon (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pharmakon (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pharmakon (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Pharmakon (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

 

Roskilde 2015: Our Most Anticipated Acts

in Blog by

Roskilde 2015 is gearing up, and as half of the population of Copenhagen migrates towards the festival grounds, it’s time for us to share the acts we are most enthusiastically anticipating.

Wednesday

18:00 – Communions (Pavilion)

19:00 – Bob Hund (Avalon)

19:15 – Ratking (Apollo)

23:00 – The War On Drugs (Arena)

Thursday

17:00 – Father John Misty (Avalon)

18:00 – St Vincent (Arena)

20:00 – Perfume Genius (Pavilion)

23:00 – Pharmakon (Gloria)

00:00 – Ought (Pavilion)

02:00 – Fat White Family (Pavilion)

Friday

16:00 – The Tallest Man On Earth (Arena)

18:00 – Kate Tempest (Apollo)

19:30 – Kendrick Lamar (Orange)

20:00 – Einstürzende Neubauten (Avalon)

https://youtu.be/48nakpWpYTI

21:00 – Run The Jewels (Arena)

22:30 – Disclosure (Orange)

Saturday

15:00 – Girl Band (Pavilion)

17:00 – Joanna Gruesome (Pavilion)

20:30 – Chelsea Wolfe (Gloria)
che

22:30 – Deafheaven (Pavilion)

23.00 – Africa Express (Arena)

00:00 – Myrkur (Pavilion)

Albums of the year 2014

in Blog by
Swans-To-Be-Kind

Swans – To Be Kind

After thirteen studio albums, Swans have not diluted their power or talent one bit. But somehow, since their rekindling in 2010, they have become more popular. To Be Kind is just as provocative and challenging as Swans’ early material, with half-an-hour-long songs like “Bring the Sun/Touissant Overture” and off-kilter oddities like “A Little God in My Hand”, but the sound and instrumentation has matured, becomings both less distorted and somehow more dissonant. As we witnessed in November, Swans are still a brutally loud and relentless live band, a constant provocation to audience and peers, and much loved because of it. – CC


 møMØ – NoMythologies To Follow

Karen Marie Ørsted is my hero. My braid swinging, ex-punk rocker, stage diving hero. I remember the first time I listened to one of MØ’s tracks, loading up Spotify and finding myself blasting ‘Pilgrim’ and ‘Let The Youth Go Mad’ for hours on end and wondering how one individual could contain quite so much effortless cool. She was the Danish alternative pop princess I’d been waiting for, ready to join a royal court populated by Björk, Kate Bush and Lana Del Rey. I waited for No Mythologies To Follow for over a year, as singles like ‘Glass’ and ‘XXX 88’ trickled out from MØ HQ. I was delighted to find that the debut album did not disappoint, as Ørsted shared something that was exciting, thematic, beautiful and most importantly, sounds fucking fantastic. From the first time I heard it, I knew that No Mythologies… was my album of the year. – HT


WhatIsThisHeartHow To Dress Well – What Is This Heart?

Tom Krell’s third album What Is This Heart touches on lighter subjects than his previous two albums Total Loss (2012) and Love Remains (2010). Not one to shy away from touching personal matters, the album starts off with ‘2 Years On (Shame Dream)’ and leads you softly into a journey that expands an extremely vivid personal dream about his family. ‘Face Again’ the stand out single along with ‘Repeat Pleasure’ work in his signature indie R&B coupled with stunning falsetto which leave you questioning how these tracks aren’t further up the charts. WITH takes a turn with grand orchestral ‘Pour Cyril’ before leading into cute power pop ballads ‘Very Best Friend’ and ‘Precious Love’ proving key changes are making a come back! – TS


 Angel OlsenAngel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

The most immediately striking thing about Angel Olsen is her voice, a voice that could easily croon country hits but instead lopes over scruffy, dampened guitars. Her voice alone should earn her and Burn Your Fire for No Witness a place in hearts and best-of lists, but what really makes Burn Your Fire… so special is that it’s wholly intuitive. Olsen’s second full length album is her first with a full band, and it’s the album her debut hinted she was capable of making. She hasn’t abandoned minimalist solo tracks, but she balances them against full-band arrangements. And it’s not just the range of her voice that’s striking but it’s incredible malleability; that it’s raw yet gentle, that it jumps from disaffected to emotive from one line to another, that it rasps and twangs with equal affect. And while she’s not too proud to pay homage to the ‘90s on “Forgiven/Forgotten” and “High and Wild,” these frazzled moments give way easily to stark folk ballads. The album comes down so slowly that by the time you’ve reached the hushed conclusion of “Windows” there’s a sense of catharsis. Burn Your Fire… doesn’t just leave you feeling satisfied, but completed. – AF


 sharon van ettenSharon Van Etten  – Are We There

Somewhere in Tennessee there is apparently an ex-boyfriend of Sharon Van Etten who, during their relationship, kept telling her that her music was terrible. There is a lesson to be learned here.
“Are We There” is one of those records that grows on you. There is something extremely vulnerable and honest about Sharon Van Etten’s song writing and performance on stage. Her voice has depth which is completed by the unique vocal harmonies with Heather Woods Broderick. As Sharon Van Etten told The New York Times when she released her previous album “Tramp”, she does not really consider them harmonies: “I just hear two notes at once — I just hear two melodies.” – MK


6) East India YouthTotal Strife Forever
7) IceagePlowing Into The Fields Of Love
8) Scott Walker and SunnO)))Soused
9) Tune-yardsNikki Nack
10) The War On DrugsLost In A Dream
11) Future IslandsSingles
12) Sleep Party PeopleFloating
13) FKA TwigsLP1
14) EagullsEagulls
15) St. VincentSt. Vincent
16) Alt-JThis Is All Yours
17) Wild BeastsPresent Tense
18) Mac DeMarcoSalad Days
19) Ice Cream CathedralSudden Anatomy
20) Lana Del ReyUltraviolence
21) Get Your GunThe Worrying Kind
22) SpoonThey Want My Soul
23) WarpaintWarpaint
24) Shiny DarklyLittle Earth
25) BeyoncéBeyoncé

Photos of the year 2014

in Photos by
The Rolling Stones (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

It has been a busy year for Here Today. During 2014 our photographers and journalists covered Roskilde FestivalNorthside FestivalTrailerpark FestivalWasn’t Born To Follow (a mini festival by Smash! Bang! Pow!), as well as over 50 live shows with artists like St. VincentSwansAngel OlsenSharon Van EttenThe War On DrugsMac DemarcoCommunionsFirst HateLower, and many more.

We have put together a selection of the best photos of the year 2014. It has not been easy. Some stood out, though, like the picture below of Perfect Pussy; a picture that captures the raw energy of the show while still being very carefully composed and a perfect example of Henry Cartier Bresson’s concept of the decisive moment.

Perfect Pussy (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh / mortenkrogh.com)Perfect Pussy | Wasn´t Born To Follow, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Another amazing photo is the one of Damon Albarn (by Tom Spray) spitting water at the audience at Roskilde Festival. The crowd, the big empty space and the solitary figure (Damon) at the edge of the stage in a defiant stance; it is a picture with allegorical qualities, one that can make you mind wander.

Damon Albarn (Photo by Tom Spray)

Damon Albarn | Roskilde Festival, Arena Stage (Photo by Tom Spray)

Then there is Morten Aagaard Krogh‘s photograph of the The Rolling Stones (at the top of this post) from when the band played the legendary Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival, a stage that has come to symbolize the festival. The Orange Stage was originally made for The Rolling Stones’s 1976 Summer tour, but in 1978 it was sold to Roskilde Festival. For the first time since 1976 The Rolling Stones where reunited with their old stage. It was also the first time they played Roskilde Festival. James Hjertholm’s photo of Hexis’s leadsinger Filip Andersen is also very powerful and last, but not least, there is a whole gallery of photos (at the bottom of the page) that are equally great.

Hexis (Photo by James Hjertholm)

Hexis | Roskilde Festival, Rising Stage (Photo by James Hjertholm)

See the gallery with Here Today’s photos of the year 2014 below.

The gallery features photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com), Tom Spray (tom-spray.com), James Hjertholm (jameshjertholm.com), Ivan Boll (ivanrb.dk) and Jonas Bang (jonasbang.com).

All images are copyright of the individual photographers.

LIVE REVIEW: St Vincent, Store Vega, 05.11.2014

in Live Reviews by
St. Vincent live at Vega, Copenhagen, 2014 (photo: Morten Aagaard Krogh)

 Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

When you start to attend gigs with any kind of regularity, you start to encounter moments when, no matter how much you might like the band, you can’t help wishing you were listening to this on your headphones at home. I might not be completely allergic to sincerity, but there are only so many “soulful” and “stripped-back” sets I can deal with. Which is why I am delighted by St Vincent’s carefully choreographed appearance on stage. Scuttling across the stage like a short-circuited Stepford wife, front-woman Annie Clark embodies a sense of manic, joyful alienation.

Her latest and eponymous album deals with issues of identity in relation to technology, as evident in the lyrics to “Digital Witness” (“Digital witness/ what’s the point of even sleeping?/ If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me/ what’s the point of doing anything?”). Whereas in previous albums her angular guitar-playing worked as a brutal counterpoint to the prettiness of her voice and lush backing tracks (see “Cruel”), her newer material shifts the emphasis. Relying much more heavily on cold synth sounds, St Vincent sees the guitar transform into an expression of rebellion against the rigid structure imposed by digital music.

St. Vincent (2014)

 

It should be no surprise, given the effort Annie and her backing band have made in coming up with choreographed routines, that the performance is beautifully precise (minus a few front-of-house issues towards the end of the set). You begin to truly believe that Annie must have some cybernetic implants when you consider how she manages to sing, play intricate guitar lines and dance in high heels flawlessly and contemporaneously.

Though the set consists mainly of material from the latest album, there is enough diversity within those songs to maintain rapt attention. The manic angularity of “Born in Reverse” gives way to “Huey Newton”, which sounds almost like a Dr. Dre track. On a couple of occasions Annie pauses to recite little monologues which are witty enough not to sound too cutesy. These too are obviously rehearsed, but if one is searching for spontaneity and sincerity, it is enough to see her expression of delight at the close of the set. The effort and talent on display are a sure testament to the dedication St Vincent has for her audience.

St. Vincent (2014)

 VIEW THE LIVE PHOTO GALLERY HERE

PHOTOS: St. Vincent, Store Vega, Copenhagen, 06.11.2014

in Photos by
St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

St. Vincent (2014)

St vincent - vega-4364

St. Vincent (2014)

St vincent - vega-4494

St. Vincent (2014)

St. Vincent (2014)

St. Vincent (2014)

St. Vincent (2014)

St. Vincent (2014)

St. Vincent (2014)

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