Last Night: St. Vincent At Fitzgerald's

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Photos by Marc Brubaker
St. Vincent
October 25, 2011

There's always a special air that lingers amidst an artist's hometown show. While St. Vincent brainchild Annie Clark technically hails from Dallas, she was welcomed with open, Texas-sized arms last night at Fitzgerald's, where she and her touring band performed a 90-minute set promoting her third and most recent release, Strange Mercy.

Aftermath had first seen St. Vincent last summer, at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. There, Clark held her own before a crowd of 50,000 fest-goers, but we looked forward to the opportunity to see her in a considerably more intimate setting this time around.

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Aftermath spoke with Clark last week about Mercy. During the interview, the songwriter expressed her excitement about the opportunity to play "so much guitar" on this tour; within the first moments of her set, we observed why. Opener "Surgeon" flaunted her impeccable Berklee-trained guitar playing and frenzied, finger-picked solos.

Clad in black layers of opaque tights, shorts, a blousy sequined top and contrasting splash of blood-red lipstick, Clark's mere presence was dramatic. Her stage show was as striking, with bright, intricate lighting and frequent strobes and smoke clouds.

"Thank you, Houston," Clark said, in her first address to the obviously adoring crowd. "It's really, really, really good to be home," she continued, a statement which ignited a roar of pleased support from her fans.

Between songs, Clark offered insight into new songs, such as "Cruel." "I just released a video for this song, in which I'm kidnapped by a family. In the video, I cook, clean, and do motherly things," she explained.

"I fail at all of these things - probably not too unlike I would in real life - and then they bury me alive in the backyard." This Mercy song, in particular, transferred extremely well live.

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