ACL Fest 2015: B’lieve Kurt Vile is doin’ fine

10/04/15 Kurt Vile and the Violators performs on the Austin Ventures stage at ACL Music Festival on Sunday, October 4 2015. (Suzanne Cordeiro/American-Statesman)

10/04/15 Kurt Vile and the Violators performs on the Austin Ventures stage at ACL Music Festival on Sunday, October 4 2015. (Suzanne Cordeiro/American-Statesman)

It started very chill, they played some new stuff, it got a little boring, and then there was a sick sax solo.

That’s the Kurt Vile set in at Austin Ventures in a nutshell. He’s got a new record out, called “B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down” and there are a couple of tracks on there that did very well on stage, especially the catchy chorus from “Dust Bunnies.”

“Don’t know much about history/Don’t know much about the shape I’m in.” Vile sings, with that slight hint of menace.

Then there was the slow, creep-up-on-you hook of “Pretty Pimpin.” Probably the standout of the new stuff.

All the new material has those patented Vile vocals: jaded, but loaded with a take on his world that demands close listening.

“This is our first festival ever!” Vile sarcastically told the crowd.

This was an audience that knew what it came for — that laid back, smart groove of Vile and the Violators.

There was a point though that the set got bogged down, it sounded like Vile had played the same song three times, and my mind wandered elsewhere to the sounds bleeding in from other stages. But they picked up the pace with a rocker, that saved the day, complete with a massive, unexpected saxophone solo. That really put the energy back on top.

“Dwight Yoakam’s gonna come up in a minute” Vile said at one point. Then paused. “Not with us,” the crowd laughs, “but wouldn’t it be cool if he did.”

Yes, it totally would.

All in all, a perfect fit for Sunday festing.

 

 


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