Review + Photos by Frank Ralph

Watching a St. Vincent show is what it is to witness a creative mind expressing itself in the most beautiful way. A performance that’s all about the performance with everything from the music, the pulsating lights and the hypnotic video projections all working together in harmony with one thing in mind – to make you feel sexy.

Hell – even the merch is sexy! That could have ended up costing me a fortune!

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Taking to the stage with a full band this time around St. Vincent a.k.a. Annie Clark managed, through a combination of wonderfully off kilter rhythms and melody, to seduce en masse her audience. She had them in the palm of her clenched fist from start to finish. Slowing the pace and increasing the heart rates as and when she saw fit.

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I’ve seen her capture a crowd this way on her own, just her and the music, but it has to be said the band adds something raw to the mix which makes it even better.

With the majority of the setlist being made up of tracks from her latest album, and my personal favourite from last year – Masseduction – mixed with what you might call classic cuts from St. Vincent and Strange Mercy she took everyone on a journey.

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With barely a “Hello, Leeds” for the first hour it was left to the music to engage, which it did, but as she introduced Digital Witness with a call to arms that no matter what horrible f’d up shit is happening outside in the world for the next hour and a half we are all in a safe place and there’s ALWAYS an excuse to dance she turned the excitement up yet another notch, and followed that with Rattlesnake offering an unbeatable 1-2 mid-set combination.

She really is a guitar virtuoso teasing and strangling exquisitely discordant solos from her vast army of neon guitars and is every inch the rock star.

When she wants to be.

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At other times she is the seductive siren or the sweet, innocent girl, the next she’s the angry screaming high priestess – and often all these emotions are to be found in the same track. It’s amazing how easily she slips from pure vulnerability and tenderness to raw electric power.

Bar the damp squib of a pretty awkward school disco vibe of the supporting DJs, which was definitely a missed opportunity for a young local band to have a moment to shine, the evening was phenomenal, and everyone there experienced something truly magical.

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Compelling, strange, enigmatic, powerful, quirky, vulnerable, loud, innovative and most of all moving. From start to finish St. Vincent showed why she is one of the finest acts out there.

Make sure you see her next time she visits us from whichever planet she comes from.

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See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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