It’s a bit strange to think that Spoon hasn’t played a headlining show in town since 2010’s visit to House of Blues, way back in 2010. Then again, it’s been almost that long between new releases; Britt Daniel clearly takes his time to create his discography, and the careful attention to his craft has rewarded the efforts in spades. The spiky, nervous energy of the early stuff is gone, replaced by an organic mix of rock flecked with catchy rhythms and veneered by a sense of quiet confidence. Unfortunately, those early days were mostly ignored in tonight’s set list, with just “Anything You Want” representing my favorite recording of theirs, 2001’s excellent Girls Can Tell.
But eight records into a discography, coupled with sporadic touring, means that playing more recent material is the de facto correct strategy. There’s no sense in being painted as a nostalgia act when your audience is growing with each subsequent release, and I’d bet that a significant portion of the all ages crowd was still in primary school or so when the trilogy of A Series Of Sneaks, Girls Can Tell and Kill The Moonlight were released.
The stage setup was minimal but well-crafted, with large rectangular backdrops used to capture shadows of the performers cast from strong, directional lighting. Obviously Daniel is at the front of the band, but the steady and understated work of drummer Jim Eno has elevated him to basically the indie rock equivalent of Charlie Watts. Welcome back, Spoon. Don’t stay away too long next time.