Monday, March 29, 2010

Spoon And Deerhunter Played The House Of Blues In Boston - Pictures, Review, Setlist

On Saturday night we trundled our way up to Boston to catch the Spoon and Deerhunter bill at The House Of Blues. Granted, the pair had played Radio City the night before, but if we can snag ourselves some GA action on an open floor, it's always preferred. What's more, we were curious to see what Boston's House Of Blues looked like since it was created from the ashes of a combined Axis and Avalon. We were glad we did: we managed to catch two of our favorite bands deliver an epic pair of sets that left us more than satisfied.

Seeing Deerhunter in an opening slot was a bit of a conundrum. The band are so fantastic, that seeing them relegated to a shorter set and a crowd that was partially uninformed to their music was a bit of a bummer. That being said, the response was unquestionably enthusiastic, and the band was more than happy to recruit some new members to their ever-expanding fan base.

The band's set was quick (45 minutes) and jumped around between Cryptograms and Microcastle. Of note was a particularly drawn out and fantastic version of "Nothing Ever Happens", and a mid-tempo version of "Microcastle" that never really kicked into it's rock section, but instead held back with a painfully large amount of restraint.

The acoustics for the band's set were fantastic, and all members seemed to be in relatively good spirits. In particular, Josh Fauver's bass parts took a comfortably prominent place, delivering melody as the two guitars battled it out for cacophony control. Perhaps our only regret was not getting to see a full set from the band: they're so enjoyable that it was one of those rare occasions when we were torn between wanting the opener to stick around, and wanting the headliner to arrive.

When the headliner did arrive, however, we certainly weren't disappointed. Seeing Spoon on this stage, we weren't quite sure what to expect: it's unquestionably the biggest room we've seen them play. What's more, after last year's Crystal Ballroom show, and this year's set at Mercury Lounge, we were far more used to seeing them in small clubs. But the fact of the matter is that the band had a handle on the big room, and managed to bring the energy needed to keep the sold out crowd engaged.

Over the course of a massive 21-song set, the band delivered tunes sourced primarily from their last three records, taking a handful of tangents into their back catalog. As such, the set offered up a solid emphasis of the strength of the band's recent material, and the fact that their now-massive fanbase has a far larger level of familiarity with post-2004 Spoon.

While that's certainly not a bad thing, we have to admit that we're champing at the bit for the band to reach a point where they want to cull a bit more of their set from their brilliant early records, most notably A Series Of Sneaks and Girls Can Tell. That being said, they did offer up some nods of appreciation to earlier material. Three tracks from Kill The Moonlight made their way into the set, including a killer version of "Something To Look Forward To", and a tripped out arrangement of "Vittorio E". The band also rolled out Sneaks' "Metal School", with its straight ahead garage rock attack.

The set definitely tipped it's hat to the band's most recent record, Transference. The record's minimalist opener, "Before Destruction", started the show, and gave way to a far more fleshed out version of the record's closer, "Nobody Gets Me But You". Five more tracks from the record made appearances, and all held up well for a willing and ready audience. In particular, we have to say that "Is Love Forever?" really delivers live, and we wouldn't mind one bit if the dubbed-out vocal at the close stuck around for some sort of extended breakdown of the song.

The rest of the setlist was fleshed out by a solid selection of tracks from the band's recent material, with some nods ("The Underdog", "I Turn My Camera On") to the hits, and some fan favorites ("I Summon You", "Don't Make Me A Target") that have become live staples for their energy and delivery. More than anything, the set was artfully constructed so that all of the audience, ranging from new fans to old ones, was kept on board throughout.

It was an education in just how Spoon has managed to become beloved as both an album artist and as a live act, and why their upward trajectory consistently continues, when for their peers it begins to lag. Put simply, they are a band built upon the fundamentals of rock and roll: composition, delivery, performance, and enthusiasm. Put on stage, even one this large, there are no antics, just four guys playing rock and roll. Luckily, that's exactly what the audience is there to see.

Many more photos at the HAD Archive

Spoon Setlist, House Of Blues 03-27-2010
Before Destruction
Nobody Gets Me But You
Rhythm And Soul
You Got Yr Cherry Bomb
Vittorio E
Don't Make Me A Target
Got Nuffin
Stay Don't Go
Who Makes Your Money
Written In Reverse
Metal School
The Beast And Dragon, Adored
Don't You Evah
They Never Got You
I Summon You
I Turn My Camera On
Trouble Comes Running
The Underdog
Something To Look Forward To
Is Love Forever?
Finer Feelings


Mary Bowering said...

Great Blog! I was standing behind you at the show. I went from knowing one or two Spoon songs to falling in love with their entire set in one evening. As soon as the show was over, I went home and downloaded my favorites from the show and can't stop listening. They have such a unique sound. House of Blues made the show seem like a much more intimate experience; no matter where you're sitting/standing, you feel like you're right on stage with the band. All in all, I had a great time and am so glad you told me to check out this site. Take care.

Anonymous said...

It goes without saying that this show was SICK! Thanks for posting a proper set list and photos (which are great by the way!). Now, the big question...does anyone know if this show was recorded and can be found as an MP3 download anywhere??? I thought most bands were recording all their sets these days, maybe not though.

Anonymous said...

I felt that all the echo and pedal effects were overkill, gimmicky and detracted from the show. Otherwise, it was a solid performance.

hippiesaredead said...

Gotta disagree: the levels of effects were just about perfect from where we were standing. That being said, we also dig on them: nothing would please us more than a 12" of Spoon dub remixes.