Thursday, October 11, 2007

Spoon @ First Ave. 10/10/07

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About one hour into Spoons sold-out show at First Ave, I began to be concerned about the bands opinion of their new record. For me, "Ga(X5)" is one of my favorite albums of the year, and I was very excited to hear how those songs translate live. Well, more than halfway into the show, Spoon had yet to play a new song. Not that I am complaining-far from it. To start the show off with the choice older nugget, ‘Utilitarian’ from 1998’s “A Series Of Sneaks,” and keep that going with ‘A Minor Tough’ from the same record, and “Girls Can Tell” standout ‘Fitted Shirt,’ was a hell of a way for the band to say welcome to our back catalogue, we’ve been writing hits for years. By the time they kicked into the first two tracks from 2002’s excellent “Kill The Moonlight,” ‘Small Stakes’ and the rousing ‘The Way We Get By,’ I realized they were going chronologically through their albums. Fine by me. And the sound was incredible. The dueling two-part guitar bits buzzed through the speakers, while the keyboards added a nice accompaniment to Britt Daniel’s shredding. And shred he did, barely finishing a guitar solo before attacking his next verse, Britt was loose and in top form throughout the show, working up quite a sweat under the minimal but effective lighting against the plain white sheet backdrop. And by the time the band got to 2005’s ‘Gimme Fiction,’ they had the enthusiastic audience completely won over. And the band was won over as well, causing Britt to remark, “You guys are a nice audience. I mean, we’ve got a lot of very attractive people in the crowd. You guys are great, this must be the 21-up show.” And with that, they tore into a string of songs from “Fiction” that had everyone shaking something-‘The Beast & Dragon, Adored’ was epic and grand, featuring an extended guitar jam by Britt, ‘Monsieur Valentine’ was swinging and funky, ‘My Mathematical Mind’ was my favorite song of the evening, brimming with energy and building to an apocalyptic crescendo, helped by Jim Eno’s relentless drumming. After an impassioned version of ‘I Summon You,’ and a spirited version of ‘I Turn My Camera On’ it was time for the "Ga" songs. And despite the fact that the two piece horn section featured on the album and on their recent performance on Saturday Night Live was missing, the new material had a depth, maturity, and downright catchiness that makes Spoon one of the best American rock acts going these days. And now it made sense to me- it seemed like the band wanted to be in high gear by the time they got to the new material, using the older material almost as a warm up, so by the time they got to the new songs they were cooking. Starting with a fiery version of the album opener ‘Don’t Make Me A Target,’ the band continued on to the sonically challenging ‘The Ghost Of You Lingers,’ that had the speakers rattling with the crushing effects and feedback that make this song completely unique in the Spoon canon. It’s a wonderfully touching song, hid beneath the layers of noise, guitars and keyboard effects, and it had the room mesmerized. ‘You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb’ and ‘The Underdog’ (coincidentally the two songs the band played on SNL) were next, and they got the crowd dancing and cheering with their unadulteratingly charming pop hooks. The first time I heard ‘Black Like Me,’ I knew not only that it would sound amazing live, but that more than likely it would be a set/show closer, perfect to end the night on. And sure enough, the main set was closed by a mesmerizing version of the tune, with Britt on acoustic guitar, pleading for someone to take care of him tonite. And the packed club did it’s part taking care of the band and showing them the love they deserve after treating us to brilliant record after brilliant record. But the enthusiastic crowd wanted more, and the band delivered with a solid four song encore that gradually built up the momentum, finally closing out with a groovy (do people even use that word anymore?) version of ‘Don’t You Evah’ followed with the raucous closer ‘Quincy Punk Episode,’ that had Britt yelling ‘Yeah!’ to the crowd afterwards, which was all he had to say. It signified that they nailed their set that night, and the crowd helped bring that out of them. It was a rousing night of straight forward rock n’ roll that had everyone buzzing, and has me seriously considering doing it all over again tonight at the all ages show.

Erik T.


The Minor Tough
The Fitted Shirt
Anything You Want
Small Stakes
The Way We Get By
Stay Don’t Go
Vittorio E
The Beast And Dragon, Adored
The Two Sides Of Monsieur Valentine
My Mathematical Mind
I Summon You
I Turn My Camera On
Don’t Make Me A Target
The Ghost Of You Lingers
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
The Underdog
Black Like Me


Chips And Dip
Me And The Bean
Don’t You Evah
Quincy Punk Episode

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Spoon Mother Fucking Spoon! Wow what a show!!!!

More photos of the show check out My Flickr Page

Check out Steve's review at The Rock N Roll Star