Thursday, April 29, 2010

St. Vincent plays stripped down set, The Love Language rocks out at Memorial Hall

To celebrate the last day of classes at UNC, students and non-students alike showed up in large numbers for the big party at Memorial Hall last night.

Local superstars The Love Language kicked things off with a groovy set of tunes, new and old. The standards like "Manteo," "Lalita" and "Providence" were killer as always, but the new songs from the band's forthcoming Merge Records debut Libraries were most intriguing.

Some of songs like "Blue Angel" and "Brittany's Back" have been a staple in live shows for a while and haven't changed much. The staccato verses and thrashing choruses of "Anthophobia" were excellent and the groovy riff of "Horophones" is simple, yet sonically perfect.

The band closed their set with the first single from the new album "Heart To Tell," which is easily going to become a fan favorite and is every bit as good live as it is on the album (check out our previous post to download the song).

Next came a stripped down duo set from Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, featuring Daniel Hart (of Physics of Meaning) on violin and guitar. The duo played a set mostly featuring songs from St. Vincent's most recent album Actor.

The pair made up for the lack of players using samples and loops filling in some of the gaps from the sonically adventurous recordings. Probably the most dramatically different song was "Actor Out of Work," which was turned into slow, sauntering tune, quite different from the pounding recorded version.

The song "Marry Me," from her debut album of the same name, was particularly beautiful. The thumping pulse and distorted riffs of "Marrow" soared throughout the open space of the hall.

Clark didn't speak much during the set, but did share that she didn't graduate from college, but remembered there being a liquor store near her dorm that sold "family packs" of beer. She said "the family that drinks together, cries together," which received quite a laugh.

As they left the stage, the house lights came up, but quickly went back down when Clark returned to the stage along to play her fantastic version of The Beatles' "Dig a Pony" before calling it a night.

It was a great night of music at Memorial Hall, certainly much better than sounds emanating from the frat houses on N. Columbia Street when I arrived on campus.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

St. Vincent set list
The Strangers
Save Me From What I Want
Actor Out of Work
Just the Same But Brand New
Jesus Saves, I Spend
Marry Me
These Days
Land Mines
Black Rainbow
The Party
Dig a Pony

The Love Language set list
This Blood Is Our Own
This Room
Blue Angel
Brittany's Back
Heart To Tell

St. Vincent

The Love Language

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