St. Vincent

St. Vincent, without a backing band, performed two sets of songs old and new at the Holland Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

St. Vincent didn’t need anyone else.

The rock guitar goddess held her own Saturday night with only herself, her songs and her guitar.

Annie Clark, who performs under the St. Vincent moniker, played for an adoring audience packed into the Holland Performing Arts Center without a backing band.

Clark sang beautifully and played innumerable shredding guitar riffs, but she did so to a backing track rather than a backing band.

The set was not quite choreographed but not exactly spontaneous.

Somewhere between a theatrical performance and a rock show, the 90-minute performance was divided between two sets: the was first a collection of favorite songs from her first three albums, and the second was her new album, “Masseduction,” in its entirety.

Full of jagged rock, blistering new wave and bopping pop beats, the record covers sex and drugs and anxiety and power and seduction and sadness all within 42 minutes.

It’s a fantastic record worth a listen, which is why it ended up in my top 10 albums of 2017.

On Saturday, she delivered the same 13 songs in succession, but with a few twists that mostly came in the form of new and varied guitar parts punctuating the song such as “Sugarboy” and “New York.”

It was a little disappointing to miss hearing her perform with a full band. Some of the spontaneity you get at a rock ’n’ roll show is lost when you hear someone playing to a backing track.

But there was something powerful in Clark’s performance.

She has confidence. She has determination. She certainly has the skills.

And she knows she’s gonna slay.

Fans remained respectfully seated during the show’s first portion. Fans were pulled in by Clark, who stepped onstage in a hot pink leather bodysuit and thigh-high stiletto heels and ripped through a series of colored guitars from her signature guitar line.

Clark closed that first set with fan favorite “Birth In Reverse,” which brought the crowd to its feet.

And audience members remained there until the show ended.

I’ve seen plenty of rock shows at the pristine Holland Center, and the nature of the place often keeps people seated and quietly respectful.

But not on Saturday.

Fans grooved to “Los Ageless” and clapped along with “Fear the Future.”

After a short intermission, Clark returned to the stage for the second half of the concert in a silver dress, and she broke from her predetermined show more often as it went on. (There was an amusing anecdote about some teenagers at the Omaha zoo approaching her for an autograph before asking, “You’re Lady Gaga, right?”)

In the show’s final songs — “Young Lover,” “Slow Disco” and “Smoking Section” — Clark really laid into her guitar, shredding some brutal notes that had her fans cheering her on.

“Thank you so much, Omaha,” she said. “I love you guys.”

Reporter - Entertainment/music/concert

Kevin Coffey is the entertainment editor and critic, covering music, movies, video games, comic books and lots more. Follow him on Twitter @owhmusicguy. Phone: 402-444-1557.

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