Photos by: Charlie Homo
It’s a particularly long musical interlude, and Britt Daniel has taken off his short leather jacket, revealing his standard concert ensemble of tight pants and fitted button-down shirt. He looks out over the absolutely packed Fox Theater – a crowd filled with the underage idolizers, the mega-nerd old-school fans (ahem), and the bros with bad dance moves periodically yelling out “PLAY ‘THE UNDERDOG’!”
He squats for a few moments near the foot of the stage, and looks pointedly at people in the front whose faces he can actually see before the drown of the lights. He does this a few times throughout the night, taking brief respites for the purpose of making eye contact, exchanging a smile. He’s trying to find some sort of connection with his fans, if only fleeting, in the wash of over-stimulation.
I don’t think Spoon is drawn to fame.
Where we begin and where we end with Spoon is a tale of success and inspiration – if, in fact, the beginning is “The Agony of Laffitte” and the end is a large majestic theater packed with such a spectacle. The band’s decade of hard work has clearly paid off: Spoon is relatively famous, and for once, actually making money. However,Â Tuesday’s show at the Fox begged a respective desire to return to anonymity.
Make no mistake – there are no bells and whistles to Spoon’s live game, and the music absolutely speaks for itself. Tuesday’s show was no different, and the band continues to look seasoned and play flawlessly. With a huge crowd full of unbalanced expectations, Spoon did their best to please everyone: by playing the hits (“The Underdog,” “The Way We Get By,” “You Got Yr Cherry Bomb”) and the more obscure favorites (“Anything You Want,” “Someone Something,” “Me and the Bean”). In the end, all that’s left is the music. And Spoon make extraordinary music.
Deerhunter thoroughly drenched the walls of the Fox with their ambient rock, and were surprisingly charismatic. They were purely happy to be performing on this tour, and equally sad that the tour had to end on this night.
Rob Pope and Jim Eno joined Deerhunter on stage for their last drawn-out number, and Bradford Cox crowd-surfed in a huge circle, playing the tambourine the entire time. Subsequently, Cox later joined Spoon during their set for a gauzy take on “Who Makes Your Money.”
Having seen Spoon play live about eight times at this point (yeah, I know), I’d say that this was probably my least favorite . . . and the performance still blew me away. This speaks to Spoon’s ability to grow effectively, to take on the challenges of fame (how do you cultivate a wider audience and appeal to both new and old fans, while still enjoying the whole process?), leaving us all inspired in the end. Thanks for sharing the Transference.