- Published on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 23:08
Review/Photos: Spoon at Waterloo Records in Austin, TX, 01.25.2010
words and photos by Andy Pareti
please scroll down for photo gallery
In a selfish sort of way, seeing Spoon perform in the middle of the afternoon on a Monday felt a bit exclusive. While most of the Austinite masses were sending off those last minute business emails before hitting the road for rush hour, those of us with so-called untraditional careers (or, for some, none at all) had an hour-long reason to rejoice. It’s the little things in life, as they say.
To promote their newly released seventh studio album, Transference, the notoriously consistent local rockers played a free show in Waterloo Records’ parking lot under a beautiful clear blue sky.
Waterloo’s small lot was packed to the square foot with sunglass-wearing concertgoers for Spoon, who played a solid hour of music including a three-song encore. Fans who are still digesting Transference will be glad to know that the album packs a significantly more solid punch live. The band opened things off with Transference tracks “I Saw the Light” and “The Mystery Zone”, both of which are already making a case to be considered among Spoon’s finest, and their live counterparts were mesmerizing. Even the less immediately-striking songs on Transference went over well at Waterloo, especially the funky, piano-driven “Written in Reverse”.
But Spoon’s set was surprisingly well-rounded for what was basically a promotional tool, fleshed out with plenty of material from Kill the Moonlight and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Fan favorite “Something to Look Forward to” made the mix, as did “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”, “Don’t Make Me a Target”, and “Jonathan Fisk”, the latter of which, with its punk rocker riff and quick-spat lyrics, was a particularly affective performance.
Spoon made sure not to shrug off a show that they could have potentially disregarded. Of course there was the to-be-expected Austin praise from lead singer/guitarist Britt Daniel, but the band practiced what they preached, engaging in a lively, raucous performance that accentuated the foursome’s skillful knack for infectious hooks and rhythmic artistry. Keyboardist Eric Harvey drove the machine along with the unmistakable pulse of his keys as the band soldiered on in response, ultimately fulfilling the sun-soaked crowd’s appetite.
As expected at this point, Transference has already garnered mostly positive critical feedback. I think it’s safe to say that Spoon has hit its stride. Every time they return to perform in Austin is something of a victory lap, a reminder of the national recognition this city’s music continuously spawns. They are certainly basking in every minute of it, and whenever they come around to put on a show like this, so are we.