Let me start by praising the Denver Botanic Gardens for being the ultimate date spot. Chihuly’s curious and peculiar glass installations certainly add to the wonder within the gardens, with baubles and sand snakes blooming and curling around one another amongst the roses and such. But the gardens, themselves, provide a certain ambience that makes handholding entirely appropriate. Its nooks and crannies and archways and strategically scattered benches and gazebos are perfect for casting flirty sideways glances and stealing smooches.
Plus, you can bring your own picnic blanket, snacks, and booze to the Summer Concert Series shows. And you have free range of the entire place during the concert, if you feel so inclined to sneak off and smell the flowers.
Moving right along to our fearless leader of this post: St. Vincent. I was waiting for my boyfriend outside the bathrooms by Chihuly’s giant blue spiky sea urchin star thing when St. Vincent and her band and some security guards breezed right by me on their way to the stage to begin the concert. Off stage, Annie Clark is a seriously small human. And her neon cyan eye shadow is even brighter up close.
St. Vincent put on yet another awe inducing show, combining the likes of Bjork (but more consistently melodic), with an air of the singer-song writer side of Alanis Morissette, and the essence of an eerie vampiress cousin of Jack White- but in all actuality, she is nothing like any of the aforementioned artists. She is uniquely St. Vincent: a gaunt, wild eyed angel in an oversized black sweater dress adorned with sequined eyes, teeth, and mouths- a fashion statement that reminded me of a bedazzled Keith Haring take on the Rolling Stone’s tongue, as suggested by Wayne Coyne.
“Oh what an ordinary day,
Take out the garbage, masturbate.”
She is a stellar performer, a captivating temptress, and a wild child all in one. She rolls around on stage (I honestly wasn’t sure if she was going to get back up at one point), rides on the beefy shoulders of security guards while holding her guitar out above the audience’s heads like a beacon in the night, and partakes in short stints of awkward synchronized dancing with band members.
She describes her recent self-titled album as “a party record you could play at a funeral,” which I think she may have achieved. My personal favorite song of the evening was a somber and haunting Prince Johnny. The track reeks of raw emotion and heartfelt longing. Even the fun and poppy Birth in Reverse and Digital Witness seem to come from someplace deep within St. Vincent’s soul, with lyrics that make perfect and significant sense someplace in some alternate universe, one of confusion and heartbreak and bluntness.
“I wanna mean more than I mean to you.”
St. Vincent is a mysterious goddess whose vibrant voice combined with her dynamic stage presence creates an impressive live performance. She also oozes with compassion, warmly welcoming all the “freaks and others” from Denver. She smiles and beams at the audience knowingly, appreciating them appreciating her. And the mutual appreciation just adds to magic that St. Vincent stirs up, casting spells over the crowd with her robotic, vogue dance moves.
Visit 303’s complete photo gallery from St. Vincent’s sold out concert at the Denver Botanic Gardens for more images from the show (and that amazing dress).