Kurt Vile is anything but vile. How many times has a reviewer made that terrible pun? I apologize, and promise, no more. It is however true. I must say, I’m actually pretty pleased with his departure from the War on Drugs. While you can still hear that signature style in his music, the laid back, chill, garage rock, with classic rock influences, and an almost shoe-gazy manner, Kurt Vile and the Violators played a decent show to a packed crowd of devoted fans at the Phoenix.
Vile’s music makes you think of walking through a park in the hot summer air at night, it’s dimly lit, you can smell the grass, and you probably have a brown bag of alcohol in your hand. It’s the kind of music you’re meant to drink or smoke up to. I had done neither of these things, but the slow wavy tunes he plays and that perfect guitar, carry you along on a journey, that almost makes you feel like you’ve downed a more than a few jack and cokes (I mean this in the best possible way).
Vile rarely interacted with the crowd, slightly awkward, and a consummate professional, I watched the almost nervous mannerisms of a perfectionist as he consistently motioned to the sound guys, fixing any slightly out of tune instrument. Playing fan favorites Jesus Fever; Freak Train – a feeling of old Springsteen running through it and one of Vile’s faster songs; Goldtone, a slow, melancholy Dylan-esque song. Many off last years 2013 release, and one of my favorite album titles, such a perfect play on words – Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze. Which is exactly what it feels like, when you see Vile live.
For all photos of Kurt Vile, click here.