The Pemberton Music Festival returned to British Columbia this summer bringing back a diverse and talented lineup of artists to provide a full weekend of entertainment. One week later, we relive the best and worst of Pemberton 2014 following up Friday and Saturday’s reviews with our thoughts on the final full day of concerts.
Annie Clark Goes Out Of Her Mind For The Outsiders
Pemberton’s final day of concerts came with a couple lineup changes, the most beneficial being St. Vincent’s shift into a less-competitive evening set. With respect to Randy Newman and comedian Jay Pharoah the 90 minutes St. Vincent ended up with on Sunday left Annie Clark all to herself in front of the rain-soaked crowd.
Clark came onstage dressed in black from heels to shoulders, plucking a dark guitar that only gave more shine to a giant gold bow and a silver braid wrapped around her head like a crown. Clark cut through a couple songs from her self-titled release St. Vincent to open the set before taking the time to offer a special salutation to those who may not feel like at home in the soggy crowd.
“A very special welcome to the freaks and the others”
Clark’s personal message wasn’t the only thing that made it clear she deserved to be onstage – her presence and guitar play were out of this world, breathing life into her songs with ferocious finger picking and flamboyant moves. Often the two elements would collide, sending Clark on a possessed guitar solo while surfing a security guard before writhing onstage back into form. While the rain seemed to keep the crowd from moving as much as they had earlier in the weekend, Clark clearly didn’t mind making up for it as she moved across the stage, occasionally working a pad of pedals while shredding away on her death-black instrument. Very few St. Vincent singles scream “guitar chops” but after 90 minutes of watching Annie Clark perform the Pemberton festival crowd knew otherwise. Clark is quietly becoming one of the sharpest players around.
To get an idea of what you missed, check out St. Vincent’s performance one week earlier at the Pitchfork Music Festival:
Frank Ocean Needs No Backing Band
Where Annie Clark uses her guitar skills to enhance her band’s existing sound, Frank Ocean is capable of propelling a band all by himself. The soulful crooner was the second beneficiary of Sunday’s schedule changes, earning himself the final performance of the weekend after Outkast’s double-barreled blast of nostalgia.
Standing alone onstage behind just a microphone-stand Frank Ocean serenaded the crowd with a soothing set, placing a bow on a wonderful weekend of music. Ocean worked through ‘Pyradmids’, ‘Super Rich Kids’ and other tracks from his fantastic 2012 full-length channel ORANGE before going back in time to close with a song from Nostalgia, Ultra. After a moving rendition of ‘Acura Integurl’ Ocean disappeared into the night one last time, leaving fans to wander back to their tents and bask in the glory of the weekend that was. Pemberton closed not with a bang, but with a crooner, and we were in very capable hands.