Kurt Vile & The Violators made their way to Vicar Street last Wednesday night and I was lucky enough to get myself a ticket. I’d been looking forward to this gig for quite a while so by the time it came around, I was ready for some good old indie-folk rock!
Vicar Street, one of my favourite Irish venues. I’ve seen Joe Bonamassa here before and this gig kind of reminded me of that night. It’s a great venue for a “rock show”, the sound is quality and you feel close to the act.
Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore supported Vile on the night. They’ve recently released a joint album titled Ghost Forests. That record isn’t anything I’d listen to an a regular basis but it’s fantastic music all the same. Lattimore’s harp and Baird’s guitar combine for an experimental-folk experience sparse on lyrics.
Absolutely fantastic show by Vile and The Violators. I had him painted as a laid back guy who would perhaps saunter through the set and mumble the odd joke to the crowd. Instead, he was eager to quickly whip off one guitar and swap it out for the next. The Violators kept pace as they ran through much of his new record Bottle It In, while also playing tracks from B’lieve I’m Goin Down, Waking On A Pretty Daze, Smoke Ring For My Halo and other records. “Check Baby” was the standout for me because he stepped it up a notch, carrying the solo further than the record version and yelping into the mic when he could. “Loading Zones”, “Walking on a Pretty Day”and “Bassackwards” were all fantastic too.
It seemed that the end would never come but when the band felt the stage before their encore, they had been playing for roughly an hour and a half. When they reappeared, Vile announced that it was their second last show of the tour so they were going to play a few extra just for us. Among the extras was “Pretty Pimpin”, which of course everyone went wild for. I was really impressed by his attitude towards the end. He just kept playing. It wasn’t a show where the band felt an hour and twenty minutes was enough, it really seemed as though by the time he finished, it was because he had to, not that he wanted to.
The sound was bang on while the visuals were at a minimum, but that’s never an issue!
Fans of Kurt Vile seem to have a genuine love and appreciation for him and you could feel that in the air at the gig. People weren’t there just to hear “Pretty Pimpin”, instead everyone sang along to what they could and he seemed to feed off that. He threw in a whole host of solos, had a bit of craic with the crowd and played one or two extra tracks just for good luck. I’ll be in line to grab a ticket the next time Vile and The Violators comes around.