Kurt Vile, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011 Kurt Vile possesses a warm grasp of both classic rock sounds and modern form. His lo-fi roots are reflected in new studio recordings that somehow feel both primitive and polished.

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

toggle caption
Shantel Mitchell for NPR

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

Lo Moon performs live in the studio for KCRW. Brian Feinzimer/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Brian Feinzimer/KCRW

Watch Lo Moon Play 'This Is It' In 360 Degrees

KCRW

The brooding pop band performs its shimmering single in the Morning Becomes Eclectic studio for KCRW.

Bruce Cockburn on Mountain Stage Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Bruce Cockburn On Mountain Stage

Hear the singer-songwriter and Canadian Music Hall of Famer perform for the 14th time on Mountain Stage.

Bruce Cockburn On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/550495287/550697108" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A still from Radiohead's "Lift" video. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Radiohead Made A Video For 'Lift' In A Lift

Leave it to Radiohead to take a straightforward joke — Thom Yorke rides a lift for the song "Lift" — and make it surreal.

A still from St. Vincent's "New York" video. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

St. Vincent's 'New York' Is A Bright Lament

Annie Clark channels the pain of her ballad into a corner flower store and a replica of the Astor Place Cube in a video directed by pop-artist Alex Da Corte.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile's Lotta Sea Lice comes out Oct. 13. Danny Cohen/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Danny Cohen/Courtesy of the artist

Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile Are Just Two Peas In A Pod, Continents Apart

Watch a charming video for "Over Everything," the first single from Barnett and Vile's album-length collaboration, Lotta Sea Lice, due Oct. 13.

Lydia Loveless on Mountain Stage Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Lydia Loveless On Mountain Stage

Hear the cowpunk rocker make her Mountain Stage debut with a setlist heavy on cuts from her 2016 album, Real.

Lydia Loveless On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/547120825/547256909" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Wilco performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Twenty years in, the Chicago band has staying power without sacrificing a sense of sonic exploration. Hear its catalog-spanning Newport Folk set now.

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539980569/542131363" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Drive-By Truckers perform at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Drive-By Truckers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The band kept up a keen-edged commentary on xenophobia, censorship and racism throughout its set of gritty Southern rock. Hear its set now.

Drive-By Truckers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539347047/542129563" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top