This won’t be a comprehensive review of the show, as I left about 5 songs in, because I was bored.
(It’s OK, I got to listen to a good This American Life episode on the drive home.)
My friend Richard was right about St. Vincent: there’s not quite so much there as ppl would have you believe, and there is an increasing amount of hand-waving deployed to distract from that.
The recent article in the Voice talked about the 12-hour rehearsals AC put her band through before the start of the tour, and it showed. Spontaneity seemed to have been fully engineered out of the equation.
Yes, there was choreography. No, it was not particularly good. Maybe she should have worked with those People Get Ready folks, whose music was kind of slight but who had some interesting ideas (and who tried to incorporate chance & chaos into the equation).
Perhaps the lesson is that just watching Stop Making Sense is not, in itself, enough. Nor, apparently, is making s record & going on tour with David Byrne.
I still like the St. Vincent music, although her second album remains my favorite of the four, which probably doesn’t bode well for my long term interest.
But everything I got tonight I could have gotten by staying home, turning up the stereo really loud, and periodically flashing extremely bright lights directly into my eyes.
The thing is that, at least up to the point when I left, the choreography had added very little, but the overrehearsal and generally overdetermined nature of everything else took a lot of the fun out of hearing Live Rock Music.
Other people seemed to be enjoying it, although there wasn’t much visible dancing, maybe because the quantized beats on the last couple of records really aren’t all that danceable, and the human drummer was clearly playing to a click track, so there was no room for him to open the beat up at all.
All in all, it was kind of baffling. So there’s that, I guess.
As for the HRB, I’m sure it’s lovely in the daytime. At night during a rockshow it’s just another shoebox full of people craning their necks to see an oddly small, seemingly too low stage. Or you can hit the balcony to have lights shined directly into your eyes.
It sounded better than the Ritz, and actually better than I have heard some touring shows sound at the New Cradle. No, that’s not saying much. It’s OK. It’s fine. It’s probably lovely at an early evening show of non-rock music in the summertime.