Kurt Vile wasn’t kidding when he titled his newest album “Wakin on a Pretty Daze.” The Philly-based singer-guitarist is absolutely committed to his vibe: wake-and-bake classic rock that Matthew McConaughey’s character in “Dazed and Confused” could lose an afternoon to.
The hard part is cutting through that daze to make a compelling live show. At the Echoplex on Tuesday night, Vile had a sold-out room of young fans eager to take a hit of whatever he’s offering. But it turns out that you need more than just a pretty daze to demand their attention.
Now five albums deep into an escalating solo career, Vile (with his revolving backing band the Violators) continues a line of loud but dreamy guitar acts who like big windups and long finishes -- Crazy Horse, Dinosaur Jr., John Fahey. Vile certainly looked the part on Tuesday, only occasionally peeking out from under his virtuosic mane of hair to play a run or sing a deadpan lyric.
He set the pace early with a 10-minute long version of “Wakin on a Pretty Day" that suggested how the night would go -- repetition and atmosphere over swagger and fireworks. It captured everything he’s good at -- slow burns of three-guitar interplay that are less about buildups and payoffs than making time seem to disappear.