I had originally planned to bundle this with the latest Jon Brion review, but once I realized that baby was going to be a rambling monster, I cut myself off as best as I could. Thus, all two of my usual readers might make it all the way through.
Spoon, The Fillmore, June 19 and 20, 2005: I love Gimme Fiction almost as much as Girls Can Tell and many times more than Kill the Moonlight. It's right up there with Doves' Some Cities as my favorite releases so far this year. I've been accused of being fickle, but I don't think I am. I'm rather faithful to my faves, as long as they keep touring at a level where I can see them in a decent-size venue. By all indications, Spoon is steamrolling past that point, but thankfully, the Fillmore has the cache to get bands to stay for multinight stands. And there was no question I was going to both nights.
We were on the floor the first night, and the band did a good, tight set, as always. In addition to the expected emphasis on the current album, they pulled "I Could See the Dude" and "Utilitarian" out of the repertoire. They still use one of the sparest setups I've seen for a band that's becoming so popular, but they have a new keyboardist/guitarist who seems to be fitting in pretty well. Otherwise, it was the usual crew of Britt, Jim, and Josh. Though this was the first night of the stand, it was the second show added, so I'm guessing that the less prepared fans came out for this one. We heard a lot of "I love you Britt" and "Britt, you're hot" exultations, and there was some pushing around us, though nothing like the last time we saw the band. Also, there was a photographer running around the stage, taking pictures of the show. I wondered if she was Autumn DeWilde, who recently directed their video for "I Turn My Camera On," but I won't know for a while, I suppose. Britt was definitely playing to the camera for quite a few songs, though he didn't seem to meander much from his usual moves. I hope she got great shots and that we get to see them soon.
For the second night, we sat upstairs in the balcony, partly because my camera decided to crap out. Yes, I'm old, but I didn't want to deal with being on the floor again, though now I have second thoughts, as the crowd seemed better behaved for the second show (but actually, the first show that went on sale). This night was officially sold out, and from our spot up top, we could see what a capacity Fillmore crowd looks like. I was surprised to see so many guys at the show, as it seems that all I ever hear at Spoon shows these days is the squeal of young girls. Enough cattiness, though: if nothing else, the Fillmore sounds incredible when you're not in the front. No wonder bands love the room so much!
Other highlights of the show were "The Delicate Place." I love Jim's restraint on that song. He doesn't play at the beginning or the end of the song, but his rolling, subtle rhythm in the middle is so well done, and it's so great to see/hear someone who realizes that you don't need to fill every moment of every song. (Yes, I realize how ironic that sounds, given my Jon Brion obsession.) To my delight, they did "Vittorio E" the first night, a song that I feel gets overlooked often in favor of the short, snappy Kill the Moonlight tunes. Oh, though the studio version of "My Mathematical Mind" hasn't really hit me, the version from night 2 seriously filled the room--bringing about the apocalypse, indeed. And yeah, that beat for "I Turn My Camera On" is beyond compelling.
Before the second show started, I told Paul I wanted to hear a Wire cover that night. From my lips to god's ears! The indisputable highlight of the shows was the encore of the second night, where the band pulled out "Metal Detektor," "Car Radio," and an intense, exorciating version of "Lowdown." I've heard that song on bootlegs before, and I dig it, but holy mary, mother of god, I wasn't prepared for the full sonic assault. They brought down the house, and I wanted to run home and put on Pink Flag immediately.
I want to see Spoon as many times as I still can, but when they're hitting people like that, I don't see how the masses will be able to resist.
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