Kurt Vile performed at Auditorium Shores the day after a bag of his equipment was stolen. i

Kurt Vile performed at Auditorium Shores the day after a bag of his equipment was stolen. Shantel Mitchell for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Shantel Mitchell for NPR
Kurt Vile performed at Auditorium Shores the day after a bag of his equipment was stolen.

Kurt Vile performed at Auditorium Shores the day after a bag of his equipment was stolen.

Shantel Mitchell for NPR

SXSW Music Festival

Kurt Vile, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011

Kurt Vile's Saturday didn't start well: The Philadelphia singer-songwriter had a bag stolen overnight, which robbed him — and his terrific backing band, The Violators — of a good chunk of their signature sound. Vile uses an assortment of pedals to trick out recordings that somehow seem both primitive and polished, darkly acerbic and informed by the sounds of classic rock. But, without them, his music had to rely on its roots.

Fortunately, Vile has never used production as a crutch, and this half-hour set finds him easily accessing his songs' sturdy frames — and with no visible backstage distress or anxiety, either. The songs from Vile's newest album, Smoke Ring for My Halo, don't lose their sideways charm on an outdoor stage, or with limited equipment. Instead, they gain a bit of extra muscle, which they wear well.

Set List
  • "Hunchback"
  • "Jesus Fever"
  • "On Tour"
  • "Ghost Town"
Band Personnel
  • Kurt Vile - Guitars, Vocals
  • Rob Laakso - Bass, Sampler
  • Jesse Trbovich - Guitar, Harmonica, Sax
  • Mike Zanghi - Drums
[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Chris Baio and his band perform live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

itoggle caption Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Baio, 'Needs' KCRW-FM

Danceable strings! Orchestral pop! It's the bassist from Vampire Weekend, back and with vigor.

Blind Pilot performs live at Pickathon 2014. Alicia J. Rose/Pickathon hide caption

itoggle caption Alicia J. Rose/Pickathon

Favorite Sessions

Blind Pilot, 'White Apple' (Live)

Watch the Portland, Ore., band perform "White Apple" at last year's Pickathon festival.

Tiny Desk Concert with Paul Weller. Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Paul Weller

See the beloved Britpop veteran perform songs from his new album, Saturns Pattern.

Florence Welch appears in a scene from Florence and the Machine's new double-feature video for "Queen of Peace" and "Long & Lost." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

Florence And The Machine, 'Queen Of Peace/Long And Lost'

The dog days are over in the English powerhouse's gorgeous, mournful double-feature video.

Courtney Barnett performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

The rising Australian rock star went electric and then some this weekend at Newport.

Listen Loading… 31:20
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/426710883/426713214" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Back To Top