Tonight is the second show of 2017’s Twilight Concert Series and it should be a great Thursday night in downtown Salt Lake City as Kurt Vile and the Violators take the stage to share their brand of lo-fi Americana indie folk-rock. Last Thursday’s opening show slayed and tonight’s experience should be every bit as fun and rewarding!
For anybody who hasn’t made up their mind yet if they are going tonight, let me help. You are going! Kurt Vile’s singular voice is a wonderful vessel for his self-aware lyrics which will occasionally be contradictory, just like life. For example, on 2011’s “On Tour” Vile claims “I’ve got it made.” And follows that up with, “Most of the time.” I think that we can all relate with that sentiment. And I believe the fact that the name of the band contains an alliteration, a play on words and his own name, and a reference to something dangerous and unpleasant is evidence of writing talent.
Oh, and in addition to all of that, Kurt Vile has an envious back story. Growing up in Lansdowne and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kurt was given a banjo by his father at the age of fourteen which he played constantly. He began recording songs and decided that his life and career would be in music. The subject matter of his first song at the age of fourteen was, what else, Superman and Lex Luthor. As his influences changed from comic books to artists like Beck and Neil Young, and as his instrument changed from banjo to the guitar, Kurt put out a tape in the mid 90s at the age of seventeen.
A few years later in the early 2000s Kurt took a job as a forklift driver, but never stopped making lo-fi recordings at home. In 2003 Kurt moved back to Philadelphia from Boston and formed the well-regarded indie rock band The War On Drugs with best friend Adam Granduciel whom Kurt has said supported him when he started a band and was returning the favor.
Kurt Vile will be joined on stage by the Violators consisting of Jesse Trbovich on multiple instruments including the saxophone, Rob Lakso on various instruments and Kyle Spence on drums. The War On Drugs made two studio albums, 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues and 2011’s Slave Ambient. Kurt Vile has put out six studio albums beginning in 2008 with Constant Hitmaker and most recently in 2015 with b’lieve I’m goin down.
*Blog post contributed by William Wright