One of the people I ended up hanging out with at last night’s concert remarked that he thought Spoon was, in a strange way, too good to be exciting. I’m not sure I agree with that. Certainly, Britt Daniel is one of the most locked-in rockstars I’ve ever seen on a stage (a note: for purposes of all comparisons, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band exist on a higher plane than mere mortals). The show was just ridiculously technically proficient: mixed so the lyrics, which are so key to the band’s music, were intensely clear, clearer in some cases than on the album cuts. They did some fantastic arrangements of stuff that’s a bit more subdued on the album. In particular, they did this hellish, haunted version of “The Ghost of You Lingers” that reminds me of that epic, epic description of Nico’s “The Marble Index” as a cathedral for a woman in hell in Lester Bangs’ review. I left the show feeling like I needed to revisit a bunch of music I was already deeply invested in, and that feels pretty exciting to me to have seen a band I care about a whole lot reinvent stuff that’s definitely already a success.
But, best ’til last, they’re performing an amazing cover of The Damned’s “Love Song,” which apparently Starbucks got them to record:
Watching Britt Daniel sing that while flogging himself with a tamborine like a penitent may be the artistic highlight of my year so far. Sometimes, at shows, the vibration in my chest feels like love. And some nights it really is.