Point Park Globe

St. Vincent a stylized sensation at Stage AE

Written By Amanda Myers, Copy Editor

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St. Vincent (a.k.a Annie Clark) has become a master at molding musical personas to twist and turn her audience’s perception of her.

Tuesday night, at precisely 9 p.m. St. Vincent delivered yet another exhibition of her growing and contorted genius to a packed house at Stage AE.

Appearing out of the shadows left-stage with a guitar delivered by one of her masked assistants, St. Vincent plunged daggers early with the deeply personal “Marry Me.”  Set to a draped backdrop, she moved to mics scattered across the stage, playing furiously to pre-recorded tracks.

Even though there was no backing band, she appeared wired to the music no matter what tone.  “Cheerleader” was her droning, defiant statement against becoming an idol to the masses, while “Digital Witness” was a pure dance dystopian dream.

Appearing initially distant, finding the former Annie seemed to unleash the strong superstar we know today.

These old songs were played with other seminal St. Vincent songs by order of their release date all leading to the grand technicolor vision of her latest album, “MASSEDUCTION.”

Performing an album, no matter how old or new, track-by-track is a daunting feat for any artist.  Though some songs may have been lost on the audience, it was if nothing else visually satisfying.

It was as if she crash-landed center stage, left with projections of herself to tell a story by way of artful alienation.  With a string of custom neon guitars, St. Vincent dove headfirst into the album with the detachment lure of opening track “Hang On Me.”  From there, it turned into serious bops with the bubblegum hook of “Pills” and an insight on fakes with “Los Ageless.”

While St. Vincent explored these themes that were in relation to herself and the world around her, the screen above displayed curated videos specific to the songs and the message she wanted to send.

In one, she appeared like a mannequin, paper shredding the word NO, while in another, she sat in a chair blown away by the sexualized accessibility of a television.

St. Vincent’s rawest moment came at the end of the lost lover ballad, “New York.”  She approached the front of the stage in a vulnerable state and looked near tears at the end of the song.

To close out her set, she ended with the solemn “Smoking Section” signifying that this performance was “not the end.”  

While these new shows keep intact, the mystery that St. Vincent has skillfully shrouded herself in, they do offer some unexpected personal insight.

Opener Tuck and Patti may have seemed contradictory for the setting, but they were really a bigger part of the picture.

Uncle and Aunt to St. Vincent, she was a roadie for them in her early teens and saw the power that live music could have on people.  Fast finger-picking guitar chords and soulful words of wisdom engaged the audience and showed the endurance of love in a 40-year relationship.

 

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