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St. Vincent spellbindingly shreds with support from Noveller

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Photos by Pedro Paredes // Written by Molly Kish //

St. Vincent with Noveller //
Fox Theater Oakland — Oakland, CA
Saturday March 22, 2014 //

An incredible bill of female fronted art-rock took center stage this past weekend at Fox Theater Oakland. Axe-wielding composers Annie Clark and Sarah Lipstate systematically stunned the audience with their powerful arrangements and domination of the stage. Although diverse in execution, both women brought a refreshingly captivating perspective on the modern-day female lead. Noveller’s opening act opus segued perfectly into St. Vincent’s theatrical headlining set, exceeding expectations with their striking performances and spectacularly eclectic skill sets.

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Sarah Lipstate’s solo project, Noveller, took the stage performing a minimalistic guitar jam, drawing in the attention of the early evening crowd. Absent of the over-the-top dramatics and quirky nuances most would expect from a St. Vincent opener, Lipstate remained stoically immersed in the entrancing compositions she single-handedly was emitting from her guitar. Barely looking up to acknowledge her environment, Lipstate ambled around the stage noticeably engrossed in her own performance, effectively developing a continued intrigue from her audience. Both visually enticing and aurally magnetic, Lipstate’s skills as a solo electric guitarist are spellbinding.

Noveller’s drone-filled and relatively short set obscurely offset the general mood of the nearly filled theater, but in a way offered a perfect juxtaposition to the headlining performance of the evening. Anyone familiar with Annie Clark’s early work could easily draw similarities between both women’s backgrounds, musical influences and styles of presentation. Noveller’s starkly contrasting noise-laden performance was simply a palette cleanser for the spectacle of a set by St. Vincent.

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Quickly after the opening act’s conclusion, St. Vincent started her extra-long early evening set. Annie Clark pranced her petite axe-wielding frame around the Fox Theater stage as she broke into nearly two hours worth of material. Focusing largely on her latest self-titled release, Clark began the performance with “Rattlesnake” and “Digital Witness”. Extending most songs to include her signature dance interpretation and band choreography, Clark had the crowd’s full attention with her wild stage antics and insatiable vocals.

Captivating an audience has never been much of an issue for St. Vincent due to the incredible musical talent Clark possesses. Her amazing skills as songwriter, lyricist and guitar-shredding icon are nearly unmatchable in contemporary pop. This tour however is incredibly unique, in that it finally showcases these undeniable aspects of Clark on a grand scale. From the production elements to various costume and instrument changes amidst an encapsulating set design, Clark has finally emerged as a true rock star.

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Standout moments include Clark climbing atop and slithering down a neon-lit staircase without missing a beat during her performance of “St. Johnny”. Also, ending the evening by hurling her body across the floor during a riveting rendition of “Krokodil” was a nice touch. Clark capped off the epic production with a solo encore of “Strange Mercy” along with two other classic St. Vincent tracks, bringing the crowd to their feet for a final, riveting punctuation.

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Comments

  1. This show was incredible! Good write-up.

  2. The little dialogues she had with the audience in between some of the songs were some of the funnier/stranger parts. Like she was trying to connect but in the weirdest way.

  3. It certainly was an awesome show

  4. Sterling says:

    Well she just went to the top of my list of people to photograph!

let's hear it!

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