Castaways was packed for St. Vincent’s first ever show in Ithaca, N.Y. There were people everywhere — on both sides of the stage, leaning on speakers, standing by the door.
Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, is only 27 years old, but her live performance proved she has a lot of experience. She started her career playing with symphonic choral-rock band The Polyphonic Spree while she was still in college. Then in 2006, she began touring with Sufjan Stevens. After working on those two projects, she started her own band, St. Vincent, in 2007.
Before she came out on stage, the opening band Margan & the Red Lions performed. The audience didn’t know what to expect, because aside from a few friends in the audience, the band was completely unknown. When the group started playing, the whole audience was pleasantly surprised. Margan & the Red Lions played very mellow chamber pop with an arrangement of acoustic guitars, piano and violins. By the end of their set, during their song “Old Man River,” they had members of the audience clapping along. At the end, Margan & the Red Lions left to the loud applause of a happy audience.
At 10:15 p.m., St. Vincent came on, and by this time there was absolutely no room to move. People began to push forward to the front of the stage in order to get a view of the petite singer. Standing on stage, she looked like a doll; her eyes were wide, playing the role perfectly.
During her set she mostly played songs from her most recent album, “Actor,” but she incorporated songs from her debut, as well. Her songs live, just like on her album were full of exciting special effects. While she played her songs, she moved around the stage like she was a wind-up toy or a marionette controlled by a puppeteer. At points during her songs, she would just collapse onto the stage while playing her reverb-filled guitar, and the crowd went crazy. She rocked out hard during the instrumental part during her song “Save Me From What I Want.”
She didn’t talk much in between songs, but when she did, the audience listened. She had some funny things to say, too, such as, “I have a confession to make. I secretly love Taylor Swift. Is that bad?” The crowd erupted in cheers and laughter. After saying her goodbyes, she left the stage, only to return for a three-song encore capping off a spectacular first show in Ithaca.