Late Night PerformancesNews

Watch: St. Vincent’s blitzing performance on Saturday Night Live

on May 18, 2014, 12:58am

While her music career has long soared on an upward trajectory, this year has been especially good to Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent.

In the last few months alone, she’s performed with Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, launched her very own signature coffee with Intelligentsia, lined up a massive tour with The Black Keys, and of course, released her excellent self-titled album. Her hot streak continued last night, when she made her Saturday Night Live debut.

She delivered scorching performances of “Digital Witness” and “Birth in Reverse”. Sadly, SNL failed to take advance of her insanely great comedic chops, but there were enough music-related sketches to fall back on (see: Jay Z-Solange, EDM bass drop).

Replay both performances below.

“Digital Witness”:

“Birth in Reverse”:

Tonight’s episode of SNL also featured sketches spoofing Jay Z and Solange’s elevator incident and the dangers of a bass drop.



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American Pancake (@AmericanRobb)
May 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

It was such a kick to see Annie aka St. Vincent performance on SNL. It was mesmerizing and a world away from the previous Black Keys and Coldplay performances that were so uninspired. SNL used to break new indie artists and I hope that St. Vincent’s inclusion heralds a sea change. For years they have been more often than not showcasing artists the public already know about. St.Vincent’s brand of art rock is in the Bowie vein and it reminded me of when DEVO was on SNL so many years ago setting the general publica buzz. Many didn’t like them, many did. The point is SNL was stirring things up. I have read some of the comments saying that Annie’s performance was lacking any excitement. I would say that art and music take different forms and a performance can be exciting based on the overall impact of this collision of music and art not just musicians kicking ass on stage (although she did that as well as she is a skilled guitarist. I hope SNL will delve further into indie artists that are less known like Thee Oh Sees, Screaming Females, Ty Segall (or FUZZ), Mac Demarco and more.

John Taylor
May 19, 2014 at 1:26 am

All she did was fucking do some hand movements and look to the side every once in a while. How the hell is that art? Her guitar playing was the only exciting thing about the performance.

Magdalena Ass Candy
May 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm

U mad.

June 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

guitar playing was “exciting”? Yes, I was excited at how absolutely horrible it was. Neither one of those bitches can play guitar at all. I was embarrassed for them.

May 18, 2014 at 11:54 am

Chemistry with her band and feeling would’ve helped. But she obviously wants very badly to be different.

May 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

I really enjoy the music segment on SNL, they tend to bring on groups/artists that are on the rise and give them even more exposure. The headline of this review and the actual performance are completely disconnected. To say “blitzing performance” is laughable! St Vincent’s music (and performance) is void of emotion and basically very dull! It’s a real shame that SNL chose to showcase a talentless, unoriginal and boring artist. PS COS STAFF writer, you really should revise your misleading headline!

Michael Forrester
May 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm

you are incredibly ignorant.

May 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Sorry I “hurt” your feelings Michael Forrester, but unfortunately there is not much to like here. Please watch her performance on SNL and tell me that it was entertaining or moving in any way…it was void of emotion and dull !

May 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

CB, while I’m not a huge fan of her current work, you are pretty ignorant in saying that St. Vincent is a talentless, unoriginal and boring artist. All of her albums have received high critical acclaim and she has received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award. Her music might not be for everyone, but she is definitely talented and original.

May 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Hi PI, I’ll agree that my “talentless” statement was harsh and even inappropriate. However, I stand by everything else I said. I was also aware that she received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award before I posted, but I choose to make up my own mind – I don’t share their opinion.

May 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm

You missed the point of her performance. The main theme of her latest album is about living in the digital age where people are becoming emotionless because they are drowning in technology. She’s sticking with this theme in her performances. Sorry to those that are upset that she wasn’t girating or twerking during her performance.

May 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm

So we are a society dependent on technology and we are losing ourselves – wow, glad she could send that message out, no one else ever brought it to our attention. Certainly no one is suggesting that she should be girating or twerking – there’s enough of that going on – but to give such a literal performance is a little insulting and embarrassing (I felt bad for her band members).

May 18, 2014 at 3:40 pm

I feel bad for you for being so closed minded. You apparently didn’t understand the irony in her being a tad bit literal. She’s a pretty amazing artist, if she’s not your cup of tea so be it. Move on to the next artist to insult, the other sites are waiting.

May 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

So SLEEP – I am not interested in bashing any other artists on any other site, just this artist’s performance on this site. What is funny is that you are willing to give her a pass for a sub-par performance because you like her, or think she is talented. There are plenty of talented people that miss the mark from time to time – for me, this is one of them. Also, let’s be clear, the headline uses the term “blitzing” and the author states “She delivered scorching performances of….” really (?!) you actually believe those are accurate terms/description!? I strongly disagree.

May 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I didn’t think it was a sub-par performance at all…I thought she was pretty amazing last night. I agree with the author of this article.

John Taylor
May 19, 2014 at 1:26 am

Nobody wants her to twerk moron.

American Pancake (@AmericanRobb)
May 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm

CB, how can you possibly chastise the author for his opinion and his choice of adjectives in describing what he experienced when he watched and listened to St. Vincent? Annie Clark more so than some musicians portrays her music as performance art. When two different art critics view (let’s say) the abstract “Four Darks in Red” by Mark Rothko would you not contend that one critic could see it as “a scorching emotional explosion” and another could see it as “void of emotion and dull” ??? So it goes with art and with musical performances. For any one to consider only their own view as “the” view misses the point of art and entertainment or they are just incredibly pompous.

May 18, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Hi American Pancake – I can appreciate your point. I have no issue with the reviewer having enjoyed the SNL performance (glad so many did) but we do have to use words that have a known meaning (definition) to properly communicate. So, using “blitzing” and “scorching” is a very liberal interpretation of the meaning of those words to say the least. Would you describe a used car with dents as “mint condition” – probably not. So for me, it doesn’t add up. Nothing pompous about that. Too bad you guys can let me have my opinion too (funny how that works).

American Pancake (@AmericanRobb)
May 19, 2014 at 10:51 pm

CB: Your opinion is obviously as valid as any and that is the point. Those adjectives are based on the writer’s opinion and by definition valid. There are set objective definitions of what is a mint condition car but no set definition on what constitutes a scorching or dull.performance. I wouldn’t of used either words. I would of probably used words like avant garde or intriguing and musical terms like progressive art rock and proto punk but that’s just me. Pleasure jousting with you :)

Nick Cato
May 18, 2014 at 11:10 am

Two amazing performances AND songs. BIRTH IN REVERSE could easily fit in the 1981 film URGH! A MUSIC WAR. Just incredible.

Christian’s Feels (@jazzmasters)
May 18, 2014 at 9:27 am

So amazing. Christ, she’s on another level.

May 18, 2014 at 7:08 am

She should have honoured her commitment to play in Leeds. I travelled over 2,000km to see her play.

May 18, 2014 at 4:07 am

she should have done pr. johnny a much better song.

Aaron Joey Camacho
May 18, 2014 at 4:43 am

Not really. If anything I Prefer Your Love has the most weight for a break through single but it’s self defeating since it’s almost sung in a Madonna inflection and done in a tone that is contrary to the weight of the album.

Nick Cato
May 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Her performances reminded me of DEVO’s classic appearance on SNL when they covered the Stones’ “Satisfaction.”


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