Spoon-fed quality

June 8, 2005, midnight | By Eve Gleichman | 19 years, 1 month ago

Spoon delivers a worthwhile performance at DC's 9:30 Club

As 10:30 p.m. rolled around on June 3rd, the 9:30 club in Northeast DC was filled to capacity. The headlining act was Spoon, a band which began on an independent label, and has steadily gained notice since their premier on the popular teen television drama "The OC." Not only has the group undergone several facelifts since their first album release in 1998, but their recorded sound has become very methodical and calculated, and I was interested to see how this would translate on stage.

I admit I was anticipating an unenergetic and monotonous show, but by the end, I was delighted to have attended the performance. The choppy, upbeat sound which Spoon is most well known for encouraged me to put down my notepad and dance along with the diverse crowd that this formally "indie" band attracted.

The opening band was The Clientele, a hazy group with an eerie sound and languid choruses that came all the way from London to accompany Spoon in its nationwide tour. Gentle melodies of love and loss spilled from vocalist Alasdair MacLean's lips, though after a while, it was difficult to distinguish one sentimental song from another. In between handfuls of unmemorable and dull songs, The Clientele performed several impressive pieces, including "Breathing Soft and Low," in which MacLean gently sang, "But my fingertips/reaching out to touch your lips/flood my heart with nothing else but light." The Clientele provided good background music for enthusiastic Spoon fans, but they failed to bring zeal to the stage, making for an overall undistinguished opening act. Appreciative fans politely applauded the band's drawn out set, eagerly awaiting Spoon's appearance.

About fifteen minutes after The Clientele's final song, Spoon front-man Britt Daniels emerged, just visible through the haze of smoke that hovered over the jam-packed concert hall. Exuberant applause exploded as the rest of Spoon trotted out and played "Small Stakes," a buoyant opening for the lively concert. Thrilled fans danced in what little personal space they had, cheering as red and yellow lights reflected off of Daniels' ostentatious guitar.

After thanking the crowd for attending the show in one of his "favorite cities to perform," Daniels introduced his band, and launched into an eclectic mix of songs from all four of Spoon's releases. The highlight of the night was "Paper Tiger," a song with diverse breaks and steady guitar riffs under Daniels' comforting lyrics: "The new war will get you/It will not protect you/But I will be there with you/when you turn out the light." Equally charming songs were "The Delicate Place" and "I Summon You," two catchy works from their latest album, "Gimme Fiction." Daniels then proceeded to lead the band into a series of songs from their 2001 release "Girls Can Tell," including "Lines in the Suit," which began in steady, calculated guitar strums and showed off Daniels' vocal range for the first time.

Spoon played into the night, and didn't wind down until well after midnight with "Someone Something," a poppy tune which sent the hands of enthusiastic fans into the air and their feet off the ground.

Three encores later, Spoon came out one final time to say goodbye to their supportive fans, and left the crowd screaming for more. When all I got were techno beats courtesy of the 9:30 Club and intimidating looks from a particularly massive bouncer, I filed out of the packed hall and onto 9th Street, leaving an outstanding show behind me.

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