Recap: Kurt Vile and the Violators at the Bluebird


Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend Kurt Vile’s packed show at the Bluebird. Kurt Vile is a breath of fresh air – he has a deep old voice and switches out his guitar after every song. Kurt Vile and The Violators are undeniably fantastic at the guitar, the long jam sessions being the obvious highlight of the performance.

Kurt has a large range of stringed instruments he plays from – banjo, electric guitar, etc. B’lieve I’m Going Down, released last year, covered most of the set list last night, with crowd favorites such as the western track “I’m An Outlaw” and the addictive number “Pretty Pimpin.” I had the pleasure to see him last summer at Pitchfork Music Festival, but nothing quite beats an intimate venue experience.

Kurt Vile is like a close friend on the stage. He jokes with the crowd and kept fans entertained with his down to earth nature. His nonchalant attitude makes it seem like he just woke up, in the best way possible. He’s a natural on the stage and if you do get the chance to see him, take it. He is an incredible guitar player who I see being very successful in the near future.

The openers were also excellent. Purling Hiss, aka Mike Polizze, is touring with Kurt as a solo artist. That being said, the show was far from being “just a guy and a guitar.” His use of a looper machine filled the Bluebird with melody and, if I had shut my eyes, I easily would have believed there was a full band on stage. His voice is deep and raspy – excellent sound to accompany the intricate guitar melodies.

Before Purling Hiss, I caught Circuit Des Yeux, who sounded like a pretty typical alternative rock group, until the singer started. Suddenly, Circuit Des Yeux became extremely personal. Haley Fohr’s voice is beautiful in the most eclectic way: deep, a vast vocal spectrum, and quite an emotional and intense experience as a crowd member. She kept her face hidden by her curtain of hair for the majority of the show. Not to mention, the band’s creative use of flute and drum kit just added layers upon layers of complexity to their sound. At times, it was so powerful in noise, it was overwhelming. But overall, the performance was stunning and left me speechless. I have never quite seen or heard anything like it.

Overall, if you are looking for a mix between Nirvana