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Elle King


Stawamus Stage, Squamish BC, August 9

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There is something to be said for a theatrical stage presence. Hitting the stage in a white top hat and matching tailcoat over a skeleton-printed onesie, American singer-songwriter Elle King beckoned the impressively large crowd closer, asking them if they had a good weekend before screaming, “It’s not fucking done!” And with that, she set the tone for her set, and the entire last day of SVMF 2015.
 
Her controversial yet genuine banter continued throughout her set. She followed up “Good to Be a Man” from her self-titled 2012 EP, a song humorously highlighting male privilege, with “Good For Nothin’ Woman,” because women are just as bad as guys, she said, as she claimed status as the worst of the women.

Born as Tanner Elle Schneider, King performed vocals, guitar and banjo with a seething fierceness. When she only sang, as she did for “Where the Devil Don’t Go” from her multiple-charting 2015 debut album Love Stuff, that freed up her vocals and arms to get even more into character.
 
Her style had clear alternative country leanings, tempered by indie pop and blues-rock, with a reggae-tinged breakdown in “Song of Sorrow” that gave her sunglassed guitarist a chance to rip off a decent solo. She sang her cover of the Beatles’ classic “Oh! Darling” as well as Paul McCartney ever did, and worked “Squamish” into the lyrics for good measure.

Warning the family friendly festival about the impending sexually graphic language, she capped her set off with a gently arranged cover of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)” to even show a bit of rap flavour. She’s like Carolyn Mark with more pop polish and a little New Orleans voodoo. Sure, she may be the daughter of Rob Schneider, but King is the real animal.