Kurt Vile joined Warpaint to sing the group’s song “Baby” at the Echoplex on Nov. 7th as part of Red Bull Sound Select 30 Days in L.A.
Secret shows, no matter how accurately they fit the definition, always bring something unexpected to the stage. But I can’t think of a more perfect vocal marriage of Kurt Vile and Emily Kokal for “Baby,” Warpaint’s melancholy song from Fool. “Baby” relies heavily on harmony, and onstage the blend is perfect, especially with Kokal’s sound management, saying”can you just make sure Kurt’s not louder than me?”
Save for a couple smartphone screens and the crowd banter, this video’s pretty good and the audio is better. On the album, “Baby” is a heartbreaking walk along the bands beautiful siren-like harmonies and a simple guitar riff. With sound levels intact and an additional guitar for Kurt, “Baby” sounded fuller and, if it’s even possible, more beautiful than the album version. This live take has a little more edge to it, it’s a little less “I can’t believe we’re broken up” and more “I’m still bummed, but fuck you.” We can probably thank Vile’s blues-rock improvisation towards the end of the song for that added angst.