Last week Spoon played a fundraiser in Austin for Texas Democrats and Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate Mark Thompson (nothing gets hipsters fired up like the Railroad Commissioner race). I had just flown in from Atlanta and frankly I was dead tired. If it was any other band I would've bailed. But it wasn't just any band. It was Spoon. So I strapped on a pair and headed out.
The show was at The Parish on 6th street. Rock Club knows my favorite venue is The Mohawk but The Parish ain't too shabby either. It has best sound and lighting system of any mid-sized club I've ever attended. With such killer visuals it's no wonder the people in front of me were getting baked. It was better than the Pink Floyd light show at the local planetarium.
I've seen Spoon in Baltimore and DC but this had a different feel. They casually chatted with the crowd as they set-up. You could tell they were playing a hometown show. They started the evening with a new song, "Who Makes Your Money", before playing "My Mathematical Mind" (a take off of "My Mechanical Mind" by The Oranges Band). For the next few songs members of Grupo Fantasmo, a local funk, mambo, and merengue band, took the stage to play the horns. I'm not a big fans of horn sections in indie rock (reminds me of ska - which I hate) but Spoon, like Menomena, does it right. They also use maracas more than any indie band I've seen. Jim Eno played the drums with a maraca on a few songs while the bassist and keyboards shook them on others. Spoon is now making their next album and I can only hope they continue this slow evolution into a Mariachi band, complete with matching suits, sombreros, fat guitars, and thin mustaches.
Not surprisingly, the set was outstanding. However, a few things did catch me off guard. "The Ghost of You Lingers" was was one the best and most powerful songs of the night. I regard this as the weakest track on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga but now see it more favorably. On the other hand, the one of the album's best tracks, "Don't You Evah" seemed sloppy and disjointed, perhaps on purpose. Either way, it didn't match up to the recorded version.
Before they came back onstage for the encore I guessed to myself they would play "Sister Jack" or "Japanese Cigarette Case". Wrong and wrong. They opted for "Rhthm & Soul", "Finer Feelings", and "Small Stakes". Can't really argue with those choices. Here they are playing the final song of the night:
Can't say enough good things about the show. They were tight as a tick and kept the political stuff to a bare minimum. No rants about Sarah Palin or dedicating "The Underdog" to the Texas Democrats. They just came out and showed why they're the best band in indie rock today.
Who Makes Your Money (New Song)
My Mathematical Mind
Stay Don't Go
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
The Ghost Of You Lingers
Trouble (New Song)
Don't You Evah
The Beast And The Dragon, Adored
Me And The Bean
Peace Like a River (Paul Simon cover)
I Turn My Camera On
Don't Make Me a Target
They Never Got You
I Summon You
Black Like Me
Rhthm & Soul