Kurt Vile and the Violators - Gruene Hall, New Braunfels, TX (3/8/19)
My wife and I went to see the magnificently talented Kurt Vile and the Violators at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, TX as a part of his Bottle it In tour. Upon arriving we were able to get an autographed Kurt Vile poster from the merch table for $30, we were stoked about this deal! The opening act The Sadies were terrific, their style was rockabilly with a bit of country twang. They performed their last song of the night with Kurt Vile, who joined them on vocals. The Sadies would later join fans in the crowd and interact with them and sign autographs for fans.
Kurt Vile came right out the gate with "Loading Zones" and instantly had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Kurt Vile's stage presence reminded me a bit of Black Francis from Pixies. That is, he's strictly business. Though there were times he would take a minute to remind the crowd he loved them. And the crowd would pop huge for him every time.
Another thing you realize seeing Kurt Vile live, he's an absolutely fantastic guitarist and doesn't get nearly enough credit for it. He spent most of the night ripping amazing guitar solos that had the audience captivated and cheering. He also played some extremely intricate acoustic pieces between songs throughout the night. Also he played some pieces on the banjo that were great.
Regarding the venue, it was the historic Gruene Hall (the oldest dance hall in Texas) in New Braunfels. There was a bit of a downside. Either Kurt Vile has the tallest fans in the world or the stage is too low. My thoughts were that it's obviously the later. I managed to snap the picture you see above to help illustrate this, for more context, I held my phone as high up as I could to capture this image. However, I will say the sound was absolutely fantastic.
Kurt played all the songs you'd want him to play including: "Bassackwards", "Wakin on a Pretty Day", "Pretty Pimpin" and more. The crowd left the show thrilled about the show and filled to the brim with merch from the merch table. I would say if you ever have a chance to see Kurt Vile in concert, do yourself a favor and do it, you won't be disappointed.