|17-Oct-2007 03:32 AM||Contributed by: pete||Concert Reviews|
If you know me, you can probably guess that one of the reasons I was initially drawn to Spoon was due to my obsession with The Tick, a cartoon about a superhero whose battle cry is SPOOOON! And I wish I could say that I was listening to Spoon years ago, back when they were playing The Horseshoe, but it's simply not true. I discovered them in early 2006 as their (then) current release Gimme Fiction started to gain exposure. The song My Mathematical Mind infected my brain, which drove me to purchase their 2002 album Kill The Moonlight, which meant I learned about The Way We Get By, causing me to go on a downloading spree from eMusic.com.
When Spoon released Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga in July of this year, it likely meant a tour, so I was happy when the show was finally announced, and that it would be held at the Phoenix. It turns out demand in Toronto was higher than initially anticipated because it wasn't long before the show was moved to the Koolhaus, a venue that holds about 2.5 times the number of bodies than the Phoenix. Not bad! And I'm not sure that the Koolhaus was sold out, but it was definitely packed so it was somewhere near capacity. This didn't go unnoticed by Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar) who made the observation that he was playing to a "healthy crowd" early in the show. He brought it up again before playing the encore, and sounded sincerely grateful when he thanked the audience for being there, and also to Toronto promoter, Craig, who they've been working with for years.
Despite the large stage at the Koolhaus, the band was placed in a fairly tight configuration, using up just over half of the available width. There was at least one reason for this, to provide enough space on stage-left to bring out a small horns section for a few of the songs, such as You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb. There were some technical difficulties with Britt's setup during the first song that caused a little on-stage technical support between songs, and even though it was a small issue, it somehow seemed to contribute to the band taking a little longer to get up to speed than I expected. However, they had absolutely hit stride by the time they played My Mathematical Mind. That song got both the crowd and the band fully invested in the show.
And then, more technical difficulties. This time the vocals from Britt's monitor had gone out, and after a few "check, check" sounds he shrugged it off and joked "well, who needs vocals anyway". Without much pause, the monitor speaker came back, so it wasn't a big problem, but again it seemed to interrupt the flow. Over the next few songs, confidence in their equipment returned and it felt like they were back in the groove for You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb. This is a band that is genuine in the performance of their excellent indie-rock. Overall, the show felt a little like the Okkervil River concert to me (which is definitely a good thing). The proper set was just over an hour, and when they returned they gave the crowd a 3 song encore.
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