Kurt Vile-show review
Thursday night, April 14th, I embraced the night (and the downtown parking fees) to see the magnificent Kurt Vile at the House of Blues. I am not versed in the ways of the House of Blues recipient which became evident in my shock in ordering a drink and knowing that the day’s ATM stop would be no match for the price of alcohol in this establishment. I also, upon learning the show started at 7PM, regrettably only caught the tail end of what I am positive was an awesome set by sole opening act Purling Hiss. I saw Purling Hiss two years ago opening for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. At that time it was with the accompaniment of a full band where this night Mike Polizze (Purling Hiss) was solo but equally enthralling. I purchased his Something EP 7 inch, the 22 year old me patted my back, “good job old man.”
In the 40 or so minutes as I awaited Mr. Vile, I scrolled my phone while sipping a more moderately priced beverage. Vile appeared on the stage to huge fanfare, seeming generally upbeat and pleasant. Kurt Vile does a great job playing Kurt Vile as his laid back character seem part of the charm of his songs, every song had an ease and naturalness that even made the House of Blues feel like trashcan fire party in a backyard, the crowd was genuinely nice, and the atmosphere was most affable.
While the show had many highlights, I will note only a few, “Jesus Fever” was its usual magical breeziness, more upbeat than the recording, it showcased Vile’s knack for inescapably wonderful melodies, the guitar lines having an almost vocal presence, “Wheelhouse” captivated the entire crowd with its woozy soul, there were many closed eyes and Stevie Wonder-ish headways, we were there together, but all in our own worlds “alone, even when in a crowd of friends and not so, sometimes of whom you just can’t distinguish but thank god for the former, yeah”- but I digress. “Goldtone” was magnificent, invoking a high five between myself and another gentlemen who was equally impressed, “KV Crimes” continued the trend of smiles and affirmations of Kurt Vile’s mastery of mood and tone, even when he would jam or songs would meander, it never was never needless or indulgent. The set ended with a solo performance of “Freak Train,” after which he returned to do encore two songs, one being “Wild Imagination.” I realized while watching Kurt Vile that whatever songs he did, he could’ve done 10 more and the crowd would have been fine, because all of the songs were just a continuation of the moment, the groove was the sentiment, we were carried on that cloud. If ever the chance arises for you to see Kurt Vile in concert you must, we’ll all be there smiles and one drink salutes.
Setlist (courtesy of setlist fm)
I’m an Outlaw
Wakin on a Pretty Day
Puppet to the Man