March 27, 2010

Spoon :: 2010

Setlist (approx.)
1 Me and the Bean (acoustic)
2 The Mystery Zone (acoustic)
3 My Mathematical Mind
4 Written in Reverse
5 The Ghost of You Lingers
6 The Beast and Dragon, Adored
7 Got Nuffin
8 Someone Something
9 I Summon You
10 Love Song (The Damned cover)
11 Is Love Forever?
12 You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
13 I Saw The Light
14 Don't You Evah
15 I Turn My Camera On
16 Don't Make Me A Target
17 Small Stakes
18 Out Go the Lights
19 Rhythm and Soul
20 Nobody Gets Me But You
21 Jonathon Fisk

Tony says:
Just a few songs into Spoon's set last week, someone behind me uttered an observant truth: "The guy's got presence."

That guy, of course, is Britt Daniel, lead man of the band. But it's not just Britt. The whole band has it. From their set structure, to the white panels that stood behind them to reflect colors, to the sparse candle-type lights that adorned their stage for low-light moments, the Spoon set was lovingly crafted.

They also rocked. Every transmittance from Daniels' guitar was a screechy-sick crunchy spasm. The organ and various samples hummed in my belly. And Jim Eno is delightful to watch on drums and reminiscent of Jon Dunn in his shoulders and by his choice of a tall drum stool and simple setup.

Overall, I left the show completely satisfied. I would have liked to hear "Trouble Comes Running," and could have done without "The Ghost of You Lingers" (the only Spoon mistake in their deep catalog).

But they nailed many of the little album details that I wondered about for a live show -- abrupt song ends, vocal effects, etc. Those little elements built magnificently on "Nobody Gets Me But You." I believe the song, which concludes "Transference," is the band's greatest work. They placed the song second to last in the set, another good choice, I'd say, as a sort of climax before wrapping up with the brisk "Jonathan Fisk" like a ribbon bow atop the package.

Chase says:
This was the second time I've seen Spoon, the first was at Detroit CityFest, and both times I walked away completely satisfied. We saw them at The National in Richmond, my first time at the venue. The show started with just Britt Daniel alone on stage playing acoustic versions of "Me and the Bean" and "Mystery Zone" (one of my favorites from their new album, Transference).

Then everyone came on stage and launched into what ended up being a great show.

I count Spoon as my favorite modern-day band. I listened the hell out of Kill the Moonlight a couple of years ago, and ever since then I've been eating them up. My opinion of them sky-rocketed even more when I read a recent New York Times article where they describe their pride being a beardless band. Bits of that article ran through my head as I watched them play the other night.

We talked a good bit about them on the car ride back to Waynesboro, coming to the conclusion that they're one of those bands who's albums come without many mistake songs. During the night they did play "The Ghost of You Lingers" (definitely a Spoon mistake on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but other than that, good times). They're also a band with no apparent pretension, and I think that's pretty obvious based on their music and stage presence.

It was put well during the return trip to Waynesboro: the band is one part sexy, one part rockin' and one part pop.

Britt Daniel on stage is mesmerizing...and I'm unabashedly a fanboy at this juncture (have been for a while now). The rigidity in his voice makes his music especially human to me, and when he goes crazy on the guitar it makes sense...those were some of the moments I was most into the music, too. The show didn't seem riddled and draped with technological getup, just a lot of honest instrumentation and rockin' fun.

My favorite moment of the show (not favorite song) was when they played "Small Stakes," the first track on Kill the Moonlight. But I think my favorite song of the night was probably "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" or "I Summon You" or "My Mathematical Mind." Definitely enjoyed listening "Don't Make Me a Target."

I thought the live version of "Written in Reverse" was more enjoyable than the album version, for what it's worth.

Another thing I noticed there was the Richmond audience. Unsure yet if I should clap when the band yelled, "Hello Richmond!' I think this must be an uneasiness after a couple of bad audiences I witnessed in Arizona. Plus, I've only been here for a few months.

In the end, I felt great moving along with the people around me...and I think I can vouch for them enough to bring me to see The Flaming Lips in April and maybe Of Montreal (again) in June.



Favorite song: "I Summon You"
Favorite moment: Racecar-like guitar tone on "Rhythm and Soul"
Member to watch: Eric Harvey on keyboard
Observation: Daniels' huge nose shadow on the theater's ornate walls

Favorite song: "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb"
Favorite moment: The opening notes of "Small Stakes"
Member to watch: Britt Daniels
Observation: Greens and oranges on the backdrops; also dancing audience members

Econ (3/30/2010)
Favorite song:
Favorite moment:
Member to watch:

Labels: , , ,


Blogger JHitts said...

I'll go ahead and disagree about "Ghost." I wouldn't go far to call it a "mistake." By itself, it's not that impressive, but in the context of the album I think it's perfectly placed and perfectly executed.

March 27, 2010 at 7:41 PM 
Blogger Tony said...

Wow, Jack. I think it's worthless. I will say that the crescendo at it's end, played live, was OK.

Also, "Mystery Zone" is revealed to be fairly repetitive and maybe indulgent when played acoustically.

March 27, 2010 at 7:44 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

Nice write-up. It's been too long since I've been at a show. The closest I've gotten to any concert at all here in Florida: (a) seeing a guy with a Hootie & the Blowfish tour shirt in the movie store and (b) leaving a coffee shop as a high school punk and/or metal band came in to play in the back room.

Being a pretty lukewarm Spoon fan ("it's not them it's me"), "Trouble Comes Running" was (is?) the first Spoon song I really loved.

As for "Ghost," I dislike it as much as Tony and Chase, generally speaking. I will say Sean McD put it as the second song on a mix following "Airline to Heaven" by Wilco & Billy Bragg and for whatever reason it seems to fit nicely there.

I can see it being a big disappointment at a show when they have such a big catalog to choose from.

March 27, 2010 at 7:55 PM 
Blogger Chase said...

Yeah, Jack...I have to re-enforce what I said in the post. That song is, as Tony put it, "worthless."

I can't even come up with one good thing to say about it -- not even the crescendo at the end.

Its placement in the album is obtrusive, annoying...even mind-numbing. I always, always skip it. The word "perfect" wouldn't touch a note of that song with a ten-foot pole.

March 27, 2010 at 10:34 PM 
Blogger K. Janke said...

Let me just say thank you for this post. Vanessa and I are going to the show on Tuesday. I have to say, Mark, you summed up my feelings about Spoon exactly. That is, I don't know why I'm not into them. It just hasn't happened. But perhaps with this post, I should say, it just hasn't happened yet.
I was nervous about the show because I'm not into them, and worried that this would ruin my experience. Thanks to the enthusiastic, and thorough (thank you newspaper business), post, I'm now eagerly looking forward to it.
And Vanessa apparently is planning a great concert-going outfit for the event, so yeah, Tuesday will be good.
Thanks again.

March 28, 2010 at 1:57 AM 
Blogger Tony said...

Kyle: I'll bet that seeing Spoon live will make you a fan. They've really got their act together -- these are professional rockers who play with a healthy dose of mischief.

March 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

I used to think it sucked too, but something (don't know what) caused me to reassess that thought— at least, in the context of the album. Maybe it was a drunken revelation on some weekend bender in the funeral home at 3 a.m. Which might explain things.

Still, I wouldn't ever turn it on to listen to without intending on going through the whole album. It is one of their worst songs (which is saying a lot, for them). I don't think it's their absolute worst, though (there are a few stinkers on Telephono. And it's no less worthless than "Was It You?"

So, I dunno.

March 29, 2010 at 12:18 AM 

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