After attending the first (and sold out) night of Spoon‘s 2-night stand at The Ogden, I can say I am no closer to understanding why the band is so popular. They are not a bad band, in fact I guess they are pretty good, but I just don’t get them. They are like the Muse of indie rock in my book…talented and have a HUGE following, but I don’t seem to know anyone who loves them…including myself.
Micachu and the Shapes opened the show to a pretty light crowd at 8:00. The classically trained Micachu put on a lackluster set. I was expecting her to be up there playing objects as instruments and was looking forward to the fun Calculator and Golden Phone. But I was disappointed by the usual drum kit, guitar and keyboard. I was also disappointed by the setlist, which did not include Calculator and included a stripped down version of Golden Phone.
Deerhunter was up next and they played to a much more crowded house. This is who I was really here to see. Not being a huge fan of either of Bradford Cox‘s projects, Deerhunter or Atlas Sound, I am a big fan of Bradford. After seeing him perform as Atlas Sound at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year in Austin, I believe he is one of those modern musical geniuses.
All the stories around Bradford and his bedroom recordings, along with his appearance, would make you think this guy would be a recluse of sort…a Syd Barrett. But he is the opposite. This extremely tall, extremely skinny guy bursts with humor and personality. And for such mellow, basement recordings…he rocks the fuck out!
So Bradford and Deerhunter did not disappoint last night. They mixed their dreamy, shoegaze tunes with full on psychedelic freakouts that had the packed crowd going crazy. I even heard some jock looking guy saying “this guy fucking rock!”…probably the last thing I would have expected to hear about Bradford Cox a year or so ago when I had only heard his recorded work and seen pictures of him on a stage wearing a dress.
By the time Spoon took the stage at 10:15 the crowd was thick and it was hot as hell. And people were drunk. Real drunk. Some girl kept trying to talk to me and pretty much hump my leg, some guy fell down after swaying backwards a little too far and there was spilled beer all over the floor. I’m sure not everyone was this wasted, I was probably just standing in the wrong place. But Spoon came out and were actually pretty boring in my opinion until they kicked it up a notch with Underdog from 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. After that I made my way to the back of the venue. It was from this viewpoint that I got to see the one Spoon song I really like, The Beast and Dragon, Adored before existing the venue.
If you are a Spoon fan, you would probably like the show. The sound was great and they pretty much sounded the same as they do on album. But not being a fan myself, they did nothing to change my opinion.