St. Vincent 2022 Concert
Just this past Friday, the 28th of September, I had the privilege to see St. Vincent on the US leg of her 2022 tour, performing her 2021 album titled Daddy’s Home. Before diving into this review I would like to start by saying that before seeing this show I had never listened to St. Vincent on my own. A friend of mine would put her albums on when we were in the car or hanging out at his house and the songs would play in the background but I had never done any in-depth listening to any of her music. It was this same friend that called me about a week before the show, offering me a free ticket because the person he was supposed to go with ended up not being able to make it. Though I may not have extensive knowledge of her discography, I have since listened to the entirety of the Daddy’s Home album and I feel that I can offer a review, being a musician, lover of live music, and a new fan of the band.
The venue was the Marquee Theatre in downtown Tempe. If you have never been to the Marquee, I would describe it as a medium-sized venue that offers a relatively intimate show if you choose to get close to the stage, but there is enough room so that you don’t feel too cramped. There is a balcony in the back for those who choose to sit and there is a refreshments booth to the left of the stage. I would compare it to a larger version of the Rialto Theater here in Tucson. The stage was set with a simple backdrop of jagged rectangular and triangular shapes with an everchanging glow of light shining through from behind them. There was a raised level where the drum kit was set up, and another raised section for the keyboard player. The band was made up of drums, bass, keyboards, two backup singers, a guitar player that would switch between playing rhythm and lead, and of course, Anne Erin Clark, AKA St. Vincent, singing and switching between Rhythm and lead guitar as well.
The show started with all the musicians except St. Vincent on the stage playing a funk jam. After a few minutes, St. Vincent made her first appearance and the band started playing their first song. The whole band was extremely well rehearsed and after a few minutes the for volume levels to be adjusted the sound was surprisingly clear from where I was standing, about 25 feet away from the front of the stage. The lead and backing vocals floated over the instruments at a perfect volume so that they were understandable and they were some of the cleanest, on-pitch vocals I have ever heard at a live show. The drums and the bass were present and powerful, but not overpowering and they provided a tight foundation for the rest of the musicians to play over. The keys sounded full and created a lush backing soundscape for the guitars to solo over. Both St. Vincent, and the second guitarist rotated guitars after nearly every song, and it wasn’t just for show because some of the guitars really did provide drastically different sounds, the most unique of which was that of the sitar-guitar hybrid that was played on a few of the songs.
As I mentioned before, the whole band sounded great, but it definitely wasn’t because they played it safe or didn’t take risks. All of the musicians were extremely skilled and executed some complex techniques beautifully on their instruments. The drummer took long solos, but still held the groove, the bass made large interval jumps and slides, and the guitars played tasteful, melodic solos as well as extremely experimental noise solos that reminded me of something out of a Sonic Youth concert. The set ranged from slow melodic ballads to raging distorted rock songs and the band did a great job of portraying the songs from Daddy’s Home in a way that was unique for this show and different from the album, yet still held the same emotions as the original recordings. Overall The band put on a fantastic show and definitely made me want to check out more of St. Vincent’s music, and I would definitely recommend Daddy’s Home to anyone who is interested in checking out some psychedelic pop music.