Review Scene: Kurt Vile & Mick Turner, Zoo Twilights, Melbourne – 4th March 2017

Mick Turner opens the account with his unique melodic guitar attack, he is able to generate beautiful pensive chords with some pretty looper overlay. The crowd is already swooning for a rollicking big sound and he does not disappoint them.

He is the solo 70s shoe gazer and is barely cognisant of the crowd once he gets into full harmonic swing, sunglasses on at night he admires the crowd “Kurt Vile will be on soon guys”.

Kurt Vile showcases his latest album the brilliant dark, poetic and snaky “b’lieve im goin down” and has taken the less is more approach with performing as a solo front man rather than his usual staple band “The Violators”.

In performing solo he can be quite perplexing and emotionally disconnecting but the depth of his songwriting cannot be denied. These renditions are purposeful, longer and playful, they have not as concise a structure and the improvisational touches Vile plays with keep it fresh and engaging. The long curly hair distorts the songwriter’s face and you have almost no barometer of what he is feeling until that smooth vocal delivery drops.

There is plenty of fair sunshine left and the solo Vile begins to flex his multi instrumental muscle. From acoustic and electric guitar to the banjo, he showcases a rollicking set where he can play crowd favorites such as Waking on a Pretty Day and Pretty Pimpin to his earlier new wave folk with Deep Sea and My Best Friends.

Sporadically the long haired stranger curls up to the microphone, says, “Hey guys I Love you” in which the crowd returns strongly. The majestic setting that the Melbourne Zoo provided was breathtaking, but I couldn’t help but think the mercurial Vile would be better suited to a smaller, more intimate venue.