BY CHARISSA CHE
After much pushing and shoving and fights breaking out up front between people who have had a bit too much to drink, I decided to watch Spoon at the back of the room. There, projected on two TV screens and off in the distance on stage, Eric Harvey worked the synths, unaccompanied, for what felt like a full 5 minutes. It wasn’t a recognizable song from any of their albums and certainly dampened the mood of the set so far. The audience starts chatting midway through the solo; then Britt Daniel’s voice seemed to reverberate from the ether and a hush fell in the room. The camera zoomed in to show Daniel squirming, lying face-down on stage, singing “I Ain’t the One.” Behind him, the window pane backdrop turned into a palely-lit blue. When he got up, hobbled to the mic stand, and finished the song, it was truly like watching a drunken, love-torn man on his last wits. It was a beautiful moment, and the highlight of the night.
All this to say that Spoon knows how to put on a good show – a testament backed by their longevity in the music industry and the die-hard fans that knew every lyric in the room. Their return to The Depot on Wednesday, September 6 was no exception. The title track of Hot Thoughts was made incredibly sexy, thanks to the large fan that teased Daniel’s straw hair and the red-hot backlighting (the set designers did a great job in evoking the emotion of each song through such a simple setup of casket-shaped window panes). His skinny suit, vintage dress shirt, super-sharp wingtips, and deft tambourine playing sealed the deal. This guy is swagger, personified.
Older tracks like “I Turn My Camera On” and “Underdog” were served fresh and brought back nostalgia from years past (for yours truly, it was soundtrack for Veronica Mars and Stranger Than Fiction). And they saved one of their best songs, the agonized anthem of the 9-to-5 adult. “Rent I Pay” for last. Arguably, though, their latest album is their smoothest and most confident yet, as evidenced by the sound (and very titles) of “Can I Sit Next to You” and “Do I Have to Talk You Into It.”
To view more photos from the show, go here.