Newport Music Hall | May 8, 2012 | Columbus, OH
photos by Miharu Kato
"The last time we were in Columbus, we had to cancel the show at the last minute." Annie Clark's mouth twisted sourly as she recounted that frigid evening in February of 2009 when she was scheduled perform Outland's Live's very first live rock show. The club was in the process of transitioning from an S&M club to a music venue. None of the PAs were functioning when St. Vincent went to soundcheck. There was no way she could have performed that night, thus the concert was cancelled 10 minutes before doors were to open.
"I just want to share with you, that my dressing room was actually a sex dungeon. I was served hummus… on a submission table," Annie stated, as she looked bashfully down at her feet. The crowd whooped and hollered. "Just hummus and pita, laid out on a submission table. Anyways…I hope we can make up for cancelling that show tonight."
Boy, did she ever. St. Vincent put on one of the most enchanting and energetic performances I have ever seen at the Newport. Clad in a sleeveless black blouse, black leather shorts, black tights, and stunning silver ankle boots, Annie Clark electrified the audience with her vocal grace, spazzy, robotic body movements, and powerful guitar shreds. Men were falling in love with her. Women were wanting to emulate her.
The set list was mostly songs from her latest album Strange Mercy, and a few songs from the 2009 release Actor. Some of the strongest songs included “Marrow”, “Cheerleader”, “Cruel”, “Actor”, and “Northern Lights.” I won’t lie, my eyes started to well will tears when the first few words from “Champagne Year,” escaped her lips. There was something about the way she sang “It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s the one we’ve got,” with bittersweet sincerity that hushed the entire room. “Krokodile” rounded out the main set and Annie hopped off the stage into the photo pit. Everyone in the crowd stood there dumbfounded thinking 'Is this skinny babe really going to crowdsurf?! Someone may break her!' I spotted her climbing up on the security rail and twist her back towards the audience, looking wide-eyed and somewhat terrified at the fact that only a few people had their arms and hands raised to support her. After a minute or two of her flipping around in the same area, she started to float around the pit, screaming the lyrics like a punk princess.
DO NOT miss an opportunity to catch St. Vincent on tour. Annie Clark is someone I consider to be a supreme rock goddess. She is surely destined to become a powerful and influential rock n’ roll legend. Venues, if you happen to be an S&M/rock/live club combo… serve the lady her hummus and pita on a table not used for weird sexual fetishes.
Click here for a full list of St. Vincent tour dates.