Going into a Kurt Vile show, you should probably expect individual songs to feel like they’re running together a bit. Vile’s latest album, this year’s terrific Wakin On A Pretty Daze, is full of stretched-out, similar sounding lo-fi pop/rock that leaves listeners feeling like they are in a blurry stupor, just as the album title suggests. But Vile’s show last night at Atlanta’s Terminal West seemed extra hazy.
Vile’s sliding vocals were almost indistinguishable from the fog created by high-feedback guitars and steady drum beats, courtesy of his travelling band, The Violators. Even his face, which hung low throughout much of the night, was shrouded, concealed by the mop of unbrushed hair that hung over his head à la Cousin Itt.
When he opened with the nine-minute “Wakin on a Pretty Day,” the first single off his new album, the crowd roared in recognition, but their enthusiasm seemed to wane throughout the 90-minute show.
Vile alternated between electric and acoustic guitars on nearly every song before playing a trio of solo acoustic songs while his band took a break toward the end of the set. The Violators came back for a few songs and performed an insanely psychedelic take on “Freak Train” that included a wild saxophone solo, but the band didn’t stay for long. Vile finished out the night with an encore of mostly-acoustic tracks from earlier albums as the crowd began to trickle out of the 100-year-old renovated manufacturing factory with ringing ears and woozy minds.
Check out photographer Burgess Brown’s images from the show in the gallery below.