Kurt Vile is a golden god. We already knew he was a king, at least, but once he took the Bowery Ballroom stage last night in head-to-toe white denim as Violator Jesse Trbovich triumphantly pumped his guitar in the air, it was an absolute. The venue's house music swelled, like the school band playing as their star football players run onto the field, as the band took its position in front of a giant Kurt Vile and the Violators banner. The illusion shifted a little, not when Vile took off his jacket to reveal a totally rock star leopard-print lining, but when he actually tried to take it off. In one of the musician's many endearingly awkward moments onstage, he struggled to shrug his arms out of the sleeves as his guitar man waited patiently, holding one of Vile's six guitars.
Like any genius, musical or otherwise, there were times last night when Vile seemed to exist in his own world. After about five songs, he suddenly dropped his guitar and ran offstage with no warning or explanation ("Bathroom break," someone in the audience said). He even took a very long 30 seconds to check his iPhone while the rest of his bandmates were setting up, leaving his guitar man hanging yet again. But those moments revealed the human behind the hero, the husband and father of two who goes to band practice only after his kids are in bed.More »