The last time Examiner covered a Kurt Vile related event it was a "secret show" with his former band, The War on Drugs at Mercury Hall. Vile left the band in 2008. Tuesday's show at The Mohawk was anything but a secret. The show sold out a few hours before the doors opened at the Red River venue. Since the release of his new album, "Walkin on a Pretty Daze" (Matador Records), Vile has been mentioned in several publications' best albums of the mid-year lists. The wiry, long-maned indie-folk rocker has come a long way from his humble Philadelphia beginnings. Vile has become well-known without a hit song or best-selling album in his five record discography. Instead, he has consistently created a sound distinctly his own that has attracted a steadily growing and deeply loyal fan base. Early in the show, a fan blurted, "I love you Kurt!" while the band tuned their instruments for the next song.
Vile featured much of the new material during the first half of the performance which was broken into three parts. After playing tunes "Walkin on a Pretty Day" and "'KV Crimes" in the first segment, KV hoisted his acoustic to display his folksier side during the second part of his set. The band came back for more with an inspired psych-rock jam that had the packed Mohawk crowd howling during the third segment. Vile is clearly a talented multi-dimensional musician as he proved during the 90-minute performance. His vocals can just as easily convey a slight twang as deliver a guttural cry. That vocal range served the man well.
KV's band, the Violators played impeccably throughout the performance. Indeed one mark of success is the talented band Vile now tours with. Guitarists, Jessie Trbovich and Rob Laasko traded duties on bass, lead and rhythm guitar. Trbovich even broke out a saxophone during the two song encore. Priestess drummer, Vince Nudo contributed an energetic performance that had us marveling at his skill. More than once we found ourselves staring at Nudo as he played.
Vile continues his U.S. tonight in Flagstaff, Arizona. With the band's return to Philadelphia in late October Beach Fossils joins the tour. Vile and his band head to Europe in December. Austin fans have another chance to catch Vile at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November at Auditorium Shores.
Kurt Vile remaining U.S. tour dates:
08-22 Flagstaff, AZ - The Orpheum Theater
08-23 Albuquerque, NM - Sister
08-24 Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
08-25 Los Angeles, CA - FYF Fest
08-28 Philadelphia, PA - City Hall Concert Series
09-05-07 Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Music Festival
09-25 Pittsburgh, PA - Carnegie Music Hall
09-26 Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Festival
09-27 Urbana, IL - Pygmalian Festival
10-12 Mexico City, Mexico - Corona Capital Music Festival
10-25 New York, NY - Terminal 5
10-26 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
10-27 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
10-29 Athens, GA - 40 Watt
10-31 Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
11-02 Orlando, FL - The Social
11-03 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
11-05 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jack's
11-06 Houston, TX - Walters
11-11 Oxford, MS - Proud Larry's
11-12 Chattanooga, TN - JJ's Bohemia
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