- by paul_guyet Rating: Release Date: Label:
Annie Clark is a human. I can now say this with complete certainty. The last time I saw her perform, in 2014 at Terminal 5, I wasn't sure; she was too cold and calculating, like some multi-function automaton that had yet to truly master a mimicry of human behavior. Even when she was vulnerable and confiding, there seemed to be a barely audible click behind each teardrop and sigh. This time however, Saturday at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn, she was just a human. A guitar-murdering pocket apocalypse of a human, but a human nonetheless.
The evening started with an hour long Q&A and two-song acoustic performance*, both of which went a long way towards humanizing Clark. Then there was the very start of her first set, which featured Clark almost ridiculously overdressed in a matching pink, vinyl teddy and high-heeled boots**. As the set unfolded, so did the stage, mirroring Clark's confidence and command of the space. For the majority of the second set, Clark merely stood and sang and killed a score of guitars and utterly dominated the theater.
The first third of the show was an almost chronological tour of her past work, starting with "Marry Me" and ending with "Birth In Reverse", while the back two thirds focused on her latest. As much as I enjoy a well-varied and structured set list, hearing the whole of Msseduction from front to back was fantastic as every track had additional depth and highlights not found on the album. One downside to the performance was the overabundance of the not-so-stellar visuals, which consisted solely of extra footage from the albums' two videos and press material. Occasionally they added but more often than not they distracted.
Highlights included a reworked and almost industrial version of 2014’s “Digital Witness”, a heart-rending new string arrangement of "Strange Mercy", “Cheerleader”, and...well, pretty much everything on Masseduction.
Clark recently extended her Fear The Future tour to mid-2018, so if you can, check out a true virtuoso performing one of the best albums of the year.
* "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood" and "the second in the 'Johnny Trilogy'", "Prince Johnny".
** She had mentioned in the Q&A that her look for the live show was a mix of "silly and sexy".