I was curious to hear how Spoon’s sonically brilliant new album would come across live. Though they’ve always been a solid, rhythmically interesting band, producer David Fridmann gave the band an extra something special on this new album that made them really come alive on record.
Live, the album’s varied songs really popped, from the workmanlike “Rent I Pay” to the thumping yet introspective “Inside Out.” Clearly, the band is as enamored of their new songs as are critics, as the band counted off songs gleefully and seemed to up the volume of the groove every time for maximum impact.
Though they’re an engaging live band, Spoon are also knob twiddlers at heart, and by the third song, the space-Motown of “Rainy Taxi,” their sound had been perfected, erupting into a noise break at the end. Britt Daniels was reliably on throughout, his gritty vocals cutting through a loud mix.
It was great to hear the band bust out “I Turn My Camera On” (from 2005’s Gimme Fiction), the song’s carefully cultivated beat serving as a nice counterpoint to their noisier new material, as well as the comparable “Small Stakes” (from 2002’s Kill the Moonlight). The songs served as a reminder of Spoon’s many strong albums—remember the Beatlesesque “Don't Make Me a Target,” from 2007’s excellent Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga? It sounded great, even if Daniels seemed frustrated for a moment while on his knees wailing on the guitar (funny, since he could just stand still, looking and sounding perfect and people would be happy).