Kurt Vile and the Violaters give mellow performance at Republic

Combine dudes with shoulder-length hair, snap-backs and tattoos, and gals with colored streaks and funky dresses and you have most of the crowd that makes up a Kurt Vile concert. 

Folk rock band Kurt Vile and the Violators played Sunday at Republic New Orleans for a cool and collected crowd of mid-20’s hipsters and avid folk-rock listeners.

Two opening acts preceded Vile’s performance: Motel Radio and Purling Hiss, a local rock band and a solo guitarist whose style and songs follow in Vile’s footsteps. Even as a solo musician, Purling Hiss’ guitarist didn’t allow the music to die out while he relentlessly and fluidly created melodies on looping pedals.

With long dark wavy hair hiding his face for most of the performance, and sparse stage movement, Vile gave off a mellow, at times sultry, aura. The band flowed through plenty of songs of his newest album “b’lieve i’m goin down…” and his 2013 album “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” during its two-hour set.

The 36-year-old American singer-songwriter started producing music at the age of 17, beginning first by writing songs and music for the banjo his father gave him when he was 14, and eventually learning how to play the guitar. Vile teamed up with musician Adam Granduciel to form the band The War on Drugs in 2005, and later branching off to focus on his solo career in the years that followed.

Vile’s voice and sound commemorate a collection of great rock stars like Neil Young, Tom Petty and Pavement.

There was little choreography and subtle transitions between songs, though the concert and mood exactly reflected the vibe from the band on stage: hints at real emotional with soft lullaby undertones.

The concert was perfect for an easy night with a few good friends, as the crowd often drifted in and out of Vile’s sometimes intense guitar solos and the backing band’s soothing harmonies.

Overall, it was a New Orleans Sunday done right, with Republic’s first floor almost filled to capacity and the balcony level fallen victim to clusters of groups who stuck to socializing on the leather couches.

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