Kurt Vile at Trees, 8/19/13: Review

Kurt Vile | Sonny & the Sunsets Trees August 19, 2013

Sound issues can ruin a good show. The band keeps stopping to fix things, the crowd grumbles because of all the stops, and no one has a good time. So it's to Kurt Vile, and his copious crowd of fans', credit that Vile's numerous sound issues at Trees last night never took the show to that dark area.

Setting the mood perfectly was opener Sonny & the Sunsets, who in just their second ever Dallas show proved that they've built a local fan base large enough to headline many rooms in the area. Working mostly from highlights from their much beloved 2009 album Tomorrow is Alright, Sonny Smith and crew filled Trees with an air of joy via their retro tinged genre hopping set. They're smart enough to know that everyone loves maracas, and break them out at every opportunity.

Once Kurt Vile and his band The Violators took the stage, the tech issues reared their head and though the crowd was respectful and supportive, the typical Dallas divide took over. From the last tree in the room forward the crowd was dedicated to Vile and his band. From the Tree on past it was business as usual in Dallas as people chatted away, flooded the merch area, and drunkenly groped people.

Those patrons not at the venue for social hour were treated to Vile's best set in Dallas so far, technical issues be damned. Making his way through songs from the critically lauded Smoke Ring For My Halo and his latest Walkin on a Pretty Daze, Vile took a rapt crowd on a journey that though filled with some issues, proved to be well worth the price of admission.

The raw energy of Vile stands out above everything else. Vile let his energy and acclaimed song writing chops take over the night. This shined through the most when he ended his with an incredible version of "Freak Train." The reverb kicked into high gear, and the almost minute-long ordeal concluded with minds left in pieces and amps almost blown.


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-There were quite a few parents with underage teens at the show. Kurt Vile, the haze rocker who brings families together.

-A young lady tried to abscond with the setlist before the encore, but one of the Violators made her give it back because, "I don't know what we're encoring with."

-Trees has a brand new custom shots and drinks menu. One is called "Hell In A Bucket," more on this in the future.

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