The Magic Hat, Detroit, 4/1/03
w/ Crooked Fingers
-Outta Town Review!-
I Will Be There With You When I Turn Out the Light
With spring officially trying to creep out of winter's grip in Detroit, Spoon was welcomed with open arms in support of their latest release Kill The Moonlight. I arrived tardy (as always) to catch the Crooked Fingers halfway into their set. Spoon's Britt Daniel was in the crowd, maneuvering his way to the back unnoticed by a mass of bodies that weren't present at the band's last Detroit show. Britt paced nervously behind the soundboard looking over his set list several times as if it were a Christmas wish list he wanted to get just right before submitting it to Santa. The indifferent sound tech snatched the list from his hand as if to give the endorsement that the set list was fine.
A few minutes before 11:00 PM, Spoon trotted out on stage in comfortable attire delivering several gems from their seminal album Girls Can Tell. While I found myself in good spirits singing along to the track "Lines in the Suit" (the finest Police song that the Police never wrote), I couldn't shake the feeling of being underwhelmed. The first six songs were a bit of a struggle to stand through as Daniel & co. continued to turn their backs to the crowd. (A personal pet peeve that deserves the proverbial bottle-lob by any and all attendees at a show). I scooted my way up to the side of the stage and took a few snapshots of the band beginning to gain some momentum.
As the show slugged along, I noticed that the band began to stand a little closer- perhaps to gain a little sense of familiarity among each other on stage. And it worked. Roughly halfway through the set, they began to sprinkle in several tunes from 2002's Kill the Moonlight. A song that benefited greatly from their newfound urgency was "Paper Tiger"- a moody track delivered with the heavy presence of tympani mallets on the skins. Daniel bent over on the floor re-creating the sonic guitar chatter that found on the record, while the other bandmembers played with their eyes shut bending the song into unmapped territories. After several instrumental leads extending the song's original time frame by six minutes or so, any thoughts I had earlier in the evening that they were simply going through the motions were silenced.
The highlight of the evening, however, was the call for help getting high in the back seat of cars after the show from the stage… and "That's the Way We Get By" echoed over the jubilant crowd. I don't really know if they ever received any help for their distress call, but I'm sure that someone in our fair city was only too happy to oblige.
.motor city rollie.