Puppet to the Man – Review of Kurt Vile at Newbury Comics

Kurt Vile
Newbury Comics, Back Bay, 03/01/11

Kurt Vile, Newbury Comics, Boston USA. (D. Hixon Photo)

Kurt Vile, Newbury Comics, Boston USA. (D. Hixon Photo)

There’s something about Kurt Vile. Ever since 2008’s Constant Hitmaker his music consistently has nestled itself between my headphones, making for an adept soundtrack as I meander about Boston, getting lost in whatever thoughts are pertinent at the time. Much like a favorite t-shirt that finds its way into your wardrobe, you instinctively wear it until the thread’s worn thin and perfect. Such is how Kurt Vile’s music has been for me – it’s seeped into my daily existence without realization, and slowly has become a favorite of mine. This past Tuesday I was able to see Kurt perform at Newbury Comics in the Back Bay, just as the sun was setting.

You can’t expect too much from in-store performances as there typically is an off-kilter vibe clinging about. The lighting is fluorescent bright while the instruments and equipment are shaved to a naked state. It’s far away from the smokey clubs where alcohol and marijuana linger with the buzz of an impending show. For the most part it’s a stale and awkward environment, with little or no room to maneuver for both the artist and fan alike. This was the case on Tuesday, however, it seemed to strangely fit with the music played by Vile, and for 45 minutes or so it was as intimate as a bedroom jam.

D. Hixon


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