29-year-old Annie Clark of St. Vincent is, as a friend aptly put it, our ultimate “girl crush.” Wearing tights under leather shorts with a black sleeveless collared shirt and bobbing her precious brunette curls in time to the shredding of her electric guitar, Clark, who started her musical career as a member of the Polyphonic Spree, is both delicate and defiant, pretty and punk rock.
And Clark had a maternal instinct. After playing a few songs, the frontwoman checked in with her lively, devoted audience. “Hey Coachella. You guys OK,” she asked. “Like, medically speaking are you OK? Show of hands. I don’t like to ask this question, but it’s not a cheesy rock question. Who amongst you got a third degree tan?…You guys all deserve medals, badges, or just a f**king case of water. You guys get MVP all the way.”
Clark, who sang earlier in the night with indie-folk maestro Andrew Bird, played songs “Marrow,” “Cheerleader,” “Chloe in the Afternoon,” “Now, Now,” “Black Rainbow,” “Cruel,” and a punky tune that she had just released today for Record Store Day.
“This song came out today. It’s Record Store Day. An Important Day. Not to imply that it’s more important than other days. I’m sure there’s other days that take the cake. But still this song came out today, so it’s on a seven inch somewhere.”
Clark has an adorable habit of doing a little shuffle before smacking her zither or grabbing her microphone in an impassioned fervor.
At one point, Clark changed guitars and picked up the wrong one. “Coachella, this is live music and sometimes you pick up the wrong guitar and it’s not in the right turning. Let’s try that again.” She also played a cover called “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” from British pop-punk band The Pop Group. Clark told a story about how frontman Mark Stewart asked to cover the song when St. Vincent went through London and brought Clark a tiny dish scrubber shaped like Sid Vicious called “Sid Dishes.”
“Oh, this is what’s become of punk rock,” said Clark with a sigh, mimicking Stewart.
After playing the cover, Clark, who stage dove last weekend at Coachella, sprayed the audience with water and then jumped back into the crowd, losing her shoes in the process.
“Thank you Coachella,” said Clark in her sweet voice. “You’re f**king awesome.”