Reviews

Spoon @ Malkin Bowl – September 2nd 2017

Spoon wowed a packed crowd at Vancouver’s Malin bowl on Saturday, on tour in support of their newest album, Hot Thoughts.

Thoughts on Genre

The day after the show, I was talking with my father and he, not knowing anything about the band, asked me “What kind of music is it?”

If you are familiar at all with Spoon, I hope you can understand how difficult this question is to answer. “It’s like… kind of… Pop rock?  But a bit more edgy. But also has like trumpets sometimes, but other times is just layered synths and keyboards. So it’s like… fusion?” Then I tried to play a bit of The Underdog, then quickly turned that off and tried a bit of Got Nuffin, then just turned it all off and gave up. Spoon has been around for nearly 24 years. They have spanned many genres and are perhaps the least predictable band in the business (and yet, admirably, one of the most consistent). And if last night was any indication, they are nowhere near done.

Still Got It

I want to take a moment to show some appreciation for Britt Daniel as a guitarist. His solos, while technically quite simple, are consistently first-rate. They flow in and out with the rhythm, drawing just enough attention to be noticeable and engaging, but not so much as to diminish from the great work of the rest of the band. He effortlessly switches between vast, soaring melody lines and his signature rough shredding as the mood demands. His riffing at the beginning of “I Turn My Camera On” was just lovely. Simply put, he is the master of the modest, complimentary guitar solo.

I would, of course, be remiss if I didn’t properly laud the rest of the band as well. Jim Eno rocks a mighty fine drum beat; I tend to think of him as modern Ringo Starr (and that is most definitely a compliment). Multi-instrumentalist Alex Fischel seems like he is ready and able to take on every role the band throws at him. From being the main backing vocalist for most songs to playing an 8-minute long keyboard slow jam before “I Ain’t the One”, Fischel is clearly the goto guy for getting things done. Finally, Rob Pope. One of a small number of bassists I would give credit for inspiring me to pick up and learn the bass guitar. His smooth, elegant lines set the perfect tone for a smooth, elegant band.

If you haven’t already, check these guys out, and soon. If you’re just getting int them, you’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Setlist

  1. Do I Have to Talk You Into It
  2. Inside Out
  3. I Turn My Camera On
  4. Hot Thoughts
  5. The Beast and Dragon, Adored
  6. Can I Sit Next To You
  7. Don’t You Evah
  8. Do You
  9. I Ain’t the One (Extended Intro)
  10. Anything You Want
  11. My Mathematical Mind
  12. Don’t Make Me a Target
  13. The Underdog
  14. Got Nuffin
  15. Black Like Me

Encore

  1. I Summon You (Britt Daniel Solo)
  2. Pink Up
  3. Small Stakes
  4. Rent I Pay

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