Concert Reviews

The message behind St. Vincent's weird, futuristic new persona

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Between songs, Clark told stories seemingly from her childhood, while inviting us to remember a time before we too became canny adults with pre-formed conceptualizations and lenses through which to interpret experiences. One such anecdote involved her asking us to remember when we used two garbage can lids for wings thinking we could fly.

Yes, Clark seemed good-naturedly amused in these moments, but it really also felt like she was trying to remind us of a time in our lives when we used our imaginations more, felt more without filters and had a sense of possibility.

Clark's stage persona wasn't that of a dark rock goddess trying to cast her spell over you with her ego to earn your worship. It wasn't a clumsy seduction of spirit even if only for an hour and a half. It wasn't a salve for one's existential malnourishment, as things seen merely as entertainment often are. Instead, she used that moment of influence to affect a change in the way you think about your life, encouraging you to re-connect with the less cynical side of your brain.

Yes, Clark may have looked like an intergalactic pop star slumming it on Earth. But that image, so very different from ones earlier in her career, going all the way back through her previous solo albums to her time with The Polyphonic Spree, wasn't just visually striking. It was also a reminder that everyone is a little weird on the inside, and that sometimes those odd aspects of ourselves are the most universally relatable.

But we rarely talk about these things, instead trying desperately to adhere to an even weirder set of social standards. St. Vincent, with this stage persona, challenges that divide.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.