St Vincent + David Byrne @ 5th Avenue Theater

October 17, 2012
First things first, I want David Byrne to be my Grandpa. Never have I seen a more entertaining, endearing, cool, articulate guy.  This is the kind of person that not only needs to be making music, but traveling the country lecturing and sharing his incredibl e talent, experience, and utterly unique view of the world with our youth. Now, on the other side of this combination, Annie Clark is a robot. Not in any bad sense of the word, but everything about her is so perfect, even when she's deliberately off it's all so perfectly executed it's ne arly frightening.


The show saw the indie-Watch The Throne weave through a set of songs equally distributed between their brilliant new brass backed album, Love This Giant alongside a number of stand outs from both their careers. Beyond an outstanding song selection, the show was also greatly enhanced not only by a talented string of brass players, but delightfully simple choreography for nearly every track that made the set feel more like a show than anything I've seen in recent times. Almost a non-nerative musical of sorts which was only supported by Byrnes headset mic (his joke midset about selling lobby merch looked nearly too convincing with this on). Other physical highlights came from Byrne himself who's bizarre hand movements were simply too much to take at times (he totally busted out what I'm coining as the "chopping the carrot" dance a number of times. This entails a number of spaced out karate chops before pushing aside a non existent diced display).

Musically the who thing came together incredibly, with tracks from the duo's collaboration sounding pristinely on par with the album versions and their originals being breathed (literally) new life through massive lush horn arrangements. And when Annie gets her guitar on, it's something to behold. Call me sexist, but I don't know a lot of guys who can shred like that and she does it like it's just breathing.  Her rigid movements and strange vibrations coupled with her doll like appearance only reinforce my theory that she is infact secretly a robot. Who can pull off all this so perfectly otherwise?  And their onstage chemistry is adorable, David acts like a quirky father, beyond comfortable with his place in the equation and eager to support his onstage daughter in any way he can to help flesh out the best in her. And they both succeed with soaring results. Annie's solo tracks are among the best in the set and Byrnes are simply something special to hear all together. Will we ever see them together again? WIll there be a part 2? Only time will tell, but for now I can tell you that we love this giant.