Kurt Vile & the Violators at Walters, 11/6/2013
"I promise not to party... too hard," sings Kurt Vile on his track "Too Hard." Earlier this week, Vile spoke to us about the importance of maintaining his role as a responsible husband and father of two while on tour. This apparently has something to do with not partying too hard.
Vile kept up his end of that bargain last night at Walter's - well, sort of; he swigged from a bottle of Patron, chased it down with a can of Red Bull, and puffed on a solitary cigarette, all before taking the stage. Once he strapped on his guitar, however, the edge was off, and Vile was in the zone.
Veiled behind a furled heap of encompassing hair, Vile and his band, the aptly named Violators took the stage at the stroke of midnight. (Evidently, Wednesday is the new Friday, as Walters crammed four acts into one too-lengthy evening.)
The Violators weaved through songs from Vile's new release, Wakin On a Pretty Daze, including its (almost) title track and "Was All Talk," as well as older tunes like "Freeway," from 2009's Childish Prodigy and "Jesus Fever," from 2010's Smoke Ring For My Halo.
The set in general was tighter than the first time I'd seen The Violators live, in Dallas back in 2010 -- this might have something to do with the fact that the band actually rehearses now, according to Vile.
He often punctuated verses with abrupt "woo!" yelps, doused in reverb -- among the only variations from his distinctively deep drawl delivery. His distinguishing cadence was even more so pronounced live: his vowels were exaggeratedly dragged out, some lyrics were indecipherably muffled, and some songs contained whole added verses of Vile just singing "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeeeah." If you know and love Kurt Vile, these are all good things.
Review continues on the next page.