The creative genius of St. Vincent has drawn listeners in for more than a decade now, with Daddy’s Home being no exception. The album took the world by storm in May, and, by no surprise, so did its performance. Streaming from the Los Angeles Theater, the now bombshell blonde displayed the psychedelic rock undertones present in Daddy’s Home while also adding new twists to old fan favorites.
This performance, however, was anything but predictable. An hour prior to the show, live comments poured in from fans anxious to know the set list and agenda of the mystifying artist. Most prayed for a live performance of “Slow Disco.” Others discussed whether the stylings of the show would reflect the roots of the artist, given the incredibly personal message behind Daddy’s Home. These two particular trains of thought did come to fruition—but unlike anything viewers could have imagined.
For the first three songs, “Pay Your Way In Pain,” “Down and Out Downtown” and “The Melting Of The Sun,” the transition between tracks was seamless. Whether that be accredited to the three-part harmonies of the background singers, the jazz-like inflections of the guitarist or the groovy choreography and camera angles, remains a highly suggestive mystery.
Following the holy three, the fourth song, “Los Ageless,” began. Judging by the sudden flood of live fan commentary, “Los Ageless” was more than a fan favorite—it’s the anthem of St. Vincent listeners. After transforming from an ’80s pop-rock song into a ’70s funk melody, the 2017 hit blended into the set list sweetly. After “Los Ageless” ensued the namesake to the album “Daddy’s Home” and “Down.” The essence of the album was demonstrated through the performance of these two songs. Between glances, the band flowed into a perfect ensemble. As instruments and voices stitched into one, the inexpressible was expressed.
For lucky track number seven, “Slow Disco” proceeded, guaranteeing fan satisfaction everywhere. For this song, the artist sang alone. By not altering the original version of the piece, its performance was destined to stand out. The stripped-back solo was heartbreaking and beautiful, as it was always intended to be.
With the show nearing its end, St. Vincent rolled out the energetic tracks “Masseduction” and “Digital Witness.” Rooted in earlier discography, the performance of these two pieces proved the maturity of the artist while also ensuring that good songs never die.
In the halls of the Los Angeles theater, “New York” played next. Alongside a grand piano, St. Vincent performed the ballad. Although the lovesick lyrics of “New York” have always stained the hearts of listeners, it was during this rendition that the song came alive—which, judging by the show’s comments, moved most onlookers to tears.
In closing, “Cheerleader” and “…At The Holiday Party” rang out. By juxtaposing the two songs, ten years apart in age, the work of St. Vincent became cyclic. Although the stylings of St. Vincent are ever-changing, they represent the internal shift of both the artist and her fans. The sounds of “Cheerleader” and “Masseduction” were fans then, “…At The Holiday Party” and “Pay Your Way In Pain” are fans now—serving both as a reminder of where people have been and where they are all going. What more could be asked for from a live stream?
Photo Credit: Owen Ela