Vic Chesnutt and Elf Power recently recorded an album together called Dark Developments. It was released last month and they’re currently touring behind the release. Elf Power plays an opening set and then Vic Chesnutt comes out and joins the band for the headlining set.
I recently saw the two perform at the Seattle stop of the tour at a venue called Chop Suey. Beth and I saw about half of Elf Power’s set. I’d always thought they were little more than Elephant 6 D-listers, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard of their performance. I’m much more of a Vic Chesnutt fan, though, so I was excited when he rolled out and they got down to business.
This was my third time seeing Vic Chesnutt live. He was his usual cantankerous self. In fact, I believe the first thing he said was, “Welcome, motherfuckers.” He and the band then proceeded to play eight of the nine songs from Dark Developments. They played them in their order from the record; the only one they skipped was “The Mad Passion of the Stoic”.
My personal highlights were “Little Fucker”, a song that Vic admitted writing about himself, and “Bilocating Dog”. I’m not sure what it is about “Bilocating Dog”, but I just love that song so much. The live version was spoiled a tiny bit when Vic stopped in mid-song to yell at two of the Elf Powers for not singing loud enough during the chorus. That’s Vic Chesnutt for you.
Having gotten the Dark Developments portion of the show out of the way, they dug into Vic’s back catalog for a few songs before closing out the night with an unrecorded song that I’m guessing is called “Granny”. It ended with the following repeated line:
You are the light of my life and the beat of my heart.
It was an unexpectedly sweet way to end an evening with one of rock’s great curmudgeons. He even apologized for cursing at us all night.
Main set: Mystery/Little Fucker/And How/Teddy Bear/We Are Mean/Stop the Horse/Bilocating Dog/Phil the Fiddler/Old Hotel/Independence Day