On the eve of SXSW, tried and true Austin veterans Spoon migrated to LA for an hour long set at Apogee Studios in Santa Monica. The performance and an interview with Anne Litt will be broadcast on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on Wednesday, March 22.
The opening couple of tunes came off of Spoon’s forthcoming ninth album, Hot Thoughts, which will be released on March 17. Front man Britt Daniel moved about the crowded stage during bouncy opener, “Do I Have to Talk You Into It,” and then proceeded to take on the angular new single and title track, “Hot Thoughts.”
On “Inside Out,” Daniel lost his guitar, took the mic in hand and exhibited his indie rock strut over twinkling keys. One of Spoon’s best works, “The Beast and Dragon, Adored” lead track from 2005’s Gimme Fiction came next, shifting from its head bobbing lurch to end with the sage wisdom, “When you believe they call it rock and roll.” The song, like some others in their repertoire, evoke thoughts of what a modern day Beatles might sound like.
“I Ain’t The One” started up with a sparse and lounge-y R&B vibe, but then took a turn for something meaner, and then another for a fuzzed out outro. This is certain to be one of the best tracks on Hot Thoughts.
Details from the mid-set interview discussion between Litt and Daniel will be saved for the broadcast, but included some of the back story on writing the new material, a great story about the band playing with a Spoon cover band in Maine, and revealed which band member is their “sexy cabana boy.”
On to the second set, “Can I Sit Next to You” is fit to be another highlight from the new album. The tune contains excellent minimalist flourishes of electronica, and is to the gills with an attitude that was exemplified in real time as bassist Rob Pope took a swig from a can of beer mid-song.
In “Small Stakes,” Spoon reached all the way back to 2002. There was “Panama”-like intro and an exponential build that culminated with Daniel raising the body of his guitar to his shoulder, looking down the neck as if it were the barrel of a gun.
By the time we reached the encore closing selection of the breakup banger, “Rainy Taxi,” Daniel and co. had the room properly revved up. As if speaking directly to the LA crowd, with a return to ATX imminent, Daniel defiantly sang, “As the sun goes fading in the west, there’s an army east that’s rising still.”
KCRW’s Apogee Sessions featuring Spoon Setlist
Do I Have to Talk You Into It
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
I Saw the Light
I Ain’t the One
Rent I Pay
Can I Sit Next to You
My Mathematical Mind
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