Spoon Oct. 23 2007 9:30 Club
No, not that Lovin' Spoonful. I'm talking about Spoon the band, not the band of hippies.
Just getting to this show was a big issue. First we bought tickets, then we were informed that the show was canceled, then it was back on, but you needed a degree in advanced mathematics to figure out how to redeem your tickets, and then that changed, and Sacklunch e-mailed the 9:30 Club and was all like, motherfucker what the fuck? and then on the day of the show we just showed up and handed the dudes our original tickets and walked in, easy peasey. All's well that ends well, right?
Still, the whole experience left us with penis-shaped welts on our faces.
A couple of good things about the whole snafu, aside from the show itself, were that attendance was not what it would have been had said snafu not occurred, and also that the show kicked off early--8:00 pm. So we were able to waltz right in, go up to our favorite spot, and get home to kiss wife and baby by 11:00 pm. Or kiss pre-op trannie and Brian Peppers, in Jumbo Slice's case.
The Ponys opened. We have now seen them three times and they've sucked each time. Please, no more. My message to lead singer Jered Gummere is this: either you're using a leave-in conditioner, or you really need to wash your hair. There was a funny moment during the Spoon set when Britt Daniel did the standard "let's hear it for the [insert opening band here], weren't they great?" Potsy by that time had made his way downstairs and was right at the front row, next to the stage. If you know Potsy then you know he's tall, so from the balcony we were treated to the sight of him giving the two thumbs down to The Ponys, about ten feet away from Daniel. It was like the house lights were on him, or something--like Spinal Tap, when they play the state fair and that redneck is in the front row giving them the finger.
The Spoons are my favorite contemporary band and I think they're making the best music around these days. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, in my opinion, is a step down from the their previous stuff but it's still easily one of the best albums of 2007. I dug the show immensely, although I think I liked their April Sonar show a bit more, if only because it was the first time I saw them. The band played songs off of all of their albums, and I got the sense early that they were trying to play a special show for us to make up for the aforementioned snafu.
It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, however. I thought their brassed-up version of "Stay Don't Go" was a little weak. I think they were backstage with the horn guys and thought, why are we fucking paying you just to play on "The Underdog"--get your asses in there and help out with "Stay Don't Go." Plus they played "The Ghost Of You Lingers", which is filler and should be relegated to the dustbin.
On the other hand, everything else sounded great, and what didn't sound great--"The Delicate Place", "Jonathan Fisk", and the closing "My Mathematical Mind"--sounded phenomenal. When Spoon are at the top of their game there's not another band in the US (or Europe, or anywhere else, for that matter) that can touch them. While as I said I liked this show a little less than the Baltimore show from last year, it heartened me to see that Potsy and Sacklunch were both pretty enthused about the band, whereas before it seemed to me that they were all like, yeah, they're okay, but have you heard this other band? blah blah fucking blah. When it comes to Spoon I'm like one of those born agains, I can't accept that people don't like them as much as I do.
All in all, an excellent night out, listening to an excellent band. Spoon gets a 7.9 on the Rockometer. Got a beef with the rating? Blame Sacklunch, he rated the Sonar show a 7.2 so I can't go much higher than that. I liked it but it wasn't as good as LCD Soundsystem (8.6) and Sleater-Kinney (8.1). I for one am proud of this blog's stance against grade inflation.
Still got a beef? As posted earlier by Jumbo Slice, NPR has the show on their website here, so judge for yourself. And here's a photo Potsy took of the set list--I told he was close to the stage, didn't I?