December 01, 2004
BY MARTY GARNER
I guess it's more important to be good on an album than live. Spoon's last album, 2002's "Kill The Moonlight," is superb pop-rock with just a touch of the group's native Texas sound. Spoon live, however, was far from superb Wednesday night at Tipitina's. Despite a rollicking opening set by This Microwave World, the group appeared lethargic, even bored, on stage. Songs which are tight, powerful, and quick on album were weak and slow, particularly "Jonathan Fisk." The band seemed disinterested throughout the show as they went through the motions of playing music. The one highlight was the tender "Paper Tiger." Drummer Jim Eno malletted his kit like timpanis, and singer/guitarist/Gary Busey look-alike Britt Daniels threw out some tastefully spare fills.
I love "Kill The Moonlight," so I was distraught to dislike the show so much. I have come up with several possible reasons the band under-performed:
1. It was cold as all-out. The side door was open, freezing the room. The guy next to me kept his wool coat on for the entire show. Kinda hard to do anything with energy when you're that cold.
2. It's bad enough to scream the words to the quiet songs. It's something else to scream the wrong words. It's even worse when the lead singer tells you to stop because you're messing him up. And stop yelling for songs. The band has a setlist, and no amount of yelling "Jonothan Fisk" will move the song further up said list. This appeared to really piss off Daniels, as well as a significant portion of the crowd.
3. It was the first night of the tour. After not playing for a while, a group can get pretty rusty.
4. Finally, Spoon could just be a bad live band(Ed: I think this is the reason). I really hope that this isn't the case, but it's always possible. Their songs may not transfer well to a live setting. I missed them this summer and at Austin City Limits, so I have nothing to compare this to.
All said, I'm willing to give Spoon another chance. Their albums are good enough to warrant that. I just hope that the frat guys stay at the house this time. Frat guys like Spoon?