Artist(s): Spoon, Deerhunter, Strange Boys
Venue: House of Blues, Boston, MA
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010
Note: Glen and I basically came to see the Strange Boys and Deerhunter, the opening acts and some of our current favorites, not to discredit Spoon in any way, but this was most likley different from other concertgoers.
Act I: Strange Boys– These garage rockers, for lack of a better face, excuse me, word, were one of the tightest bands I have ever seen live. Considering, their garage label, one would think they were sloppy and what have you like the Black Lips (not an insult!). But, in fact, quite the opposite, the band actually resembled their recordings pretty damn well. I suppose this is kind of a weakness, because live performances are naturally better when they are different from their recorded counterparts. But, then again, the boys were rather entertaining. They played several classic dittties, such as “Woe Is You and Me,” (my favorite SB tune!) “Should Have Shot Paul,” “Be Brave,” “A Walk On the Beach,” and others. ‘Woe’ was nearly perfect; the vocals were astonishingly accurate (if you know what I mean) and the guitars roared in unisen as we all know and love it. ‘Walk’ showcased SB soft side; seriously no fucking up the vocals or anything! and the crew exceptionally erupted into the heavy part of the song. Unfortunately, it seems like most kiddies and oldies in attendence were unaware of SB existence and during the soft part of the latter number, you could hear some creeps chi chi chi chatting away. Boring fucks! Looking back, the group did a great job, that I did not fully appreciate immediately due to their somewhat short set, under 30 minutes (at least through a fan’s point of view) and the fact that they did not play as many of my favorites as I expected them to. Overall, it was great and they are now amongst the kickass artists I have seen live.
Glen: Exactly what Chris said. Also, I can’t wait to see them headline someday (or open again).
Act II: Deerhunter– LOUD! and when I mean loud, I mean reverberate through your mind, body and soul and shake real low inside the lowest drums of your ears. Seriously, loudest band I’ve ever seen! and this time, unlike Dinosaur Jr, I was standing right next to the speakers lol. It was an incredible audio assault, real gorgeous, sonically and visually. The lights were fantastic and nicely complemented the bizarre music/performance, which, by the way, was easily the most technically sophisticated performance I have seen live, with Sonic Youth as the only contender. Singer/guitarist, Bradford Cox, the “nicest guy in Rock and Roll,” as Glen calls him, demonstrated some serious skill in the field of showmanship. This included, direct eye contact, hiding behing his guitar, then pretending to gobble it up, whilst posing for the cameras, and don’t forget that he loves Boston! as he proclaimed numerous times. Musically, Cox and crew played some Cryptograms tracks, but mostly Microcastle songs including “Never Stops,” “Nothing Ever Happened,” and the title track. Unfortunately, they didn’t play many of my favorites and they played nothing from their last release, the EP, Rainwater Cassette Exchange. The Atlanta rockers finished their exqusite set with the classic, dance track, “Operation.” Deerhunter was definitely my favorite from the night, no surprise. I can’t wait to experience their Supreme Genius again.
Glen: Loudest for sure. Bradford was the man. All members of the band were. Drummer Moses Archuleta really pounded hard and with fine precision. My favorite two songs were “Nothing Ever Happened” and “Operation.” “Nothing Ever Happened” was awesome because it was loud and featured an extended jam. “Operation” was just pure dance-rock or dance-punk. It’s way better live than on record.
Act III: Spoon– Not being a fan of Spoon (actually never listening to them prior to the show), I don’t have much to say here. I enjoyed their performance very much and I thought they were quite entertaining and displayed the right chops as a great Rock act. I could tell the crowd was really engaged with their performance and the musicians were equally interactive with their audience. Usually, with most bands I see live that I don’t know well, I lose interest, but with Spoon, I appreciated what I was seeing/hearing and greatly admired their performance.
Glen: I agree with Chris. I was really only vaguely familiar with Spoon prior to this show. I feel like it’s a must for me to research their earlier discography because there were definitely some songs that connected with me during this show. Even the new stuff off Transference, which was a decent at best studio album, sounded much much better live. Songs that stuck out to me (ones that I knew from before and/or caught my attention) were “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” “Got Nuffin’,” “Don’t Make Me A Target,” “Written in Reverse,” “Don’t You Evah,” “Who Makes Your Money?,” “I Turn My Camera On,” and opener “Before Destruction.”
- Before Destruction
- Nobody Gets Me But You
- Rhythm & Soul
- You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
- They Never Got You
- Stay Don’t Go
- Vittorio E
- Got Nuffin’
- Metal School
- Don’t Make Me A Target
- Written In Reverse
- The Beast And Dragon, Adored
- Don’t You Evah
- Who Makes Your Money
- I Summon You Play Video
- Trouble Comes Running
- I Turn My Camera On
- The Underdog
- Is Love Forever
- Finer Feelings
Grade: A, definitely this will go down in my top ten favorite concerts! A night of three highly diverse, exciting, independent artists, what more can you ask for?
the Black Lips! but we saw them two days earlier suckas!!!
Glen: I haven’t figured it out yet, but this is definitely a top show. In the A/A- range.
Hopes: For Strange Boys, I hope they play all of their classics from the first album, like “Woe” and “MLKs” and several others as well as some newbies from the second album, like “Laugh At Sex, Not Her” and “Be Brave.” I hope it’s a great performance from one of my new favorite bands. For Deerhunter, I hope they play mostly tracks from Microcastle and Rainwater Casette Exchange. I also hope they play the classic “Fluorescent Grey.” Idealy, it will be one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. For Spoon, I just hope I like it, having never actually listened to their music.
Expectations: I expect Strange Boys to play a good number of my favorites from both records and put on a damn good show. For Deerhunter, I anticipate they play some of my faves, but also many of the overly spacy, Cryptograms tracks, that isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I imagine it will still sound sick live though. Lastly, with Spoon, I don’t expect anything, but at least a decent (if not better) performance, considering all their acclaim.
House of Blues Boston
Almost as good as Pixies + Jay Reatard…maybe not.
Spoon’s all right as I indicated in my CD Review of Transference, but I’m really going (unless it gets sold out) for Deerhunter and Strange Boys.
1. “Before Destruction” – C
2. “Is Love Forever?” – C+
3. “Mystery Zone” – B-
4. “Who Makes Your Money” – C+
5. “Written In Reverse” – B+
6. “I Saw the Light” – B-
7. “Trouble Comes Running” – B
8. “Goodnight Laura” – C
9. “Out Go the Lights” – B-
10. “Got Nuffin'” – A
11. “Nothing Gets Me But You” – B-
Comments: Warning Spoon: never again put an average song as an album opener. Fans pretty unfamiliar with your music might be disappointed. “Before Destruction” sounds like a song that was purposely done pretty shitty to sound artistic. “Is Love Forever?” is a tad better, but still runs on a rather weak beat. Almost as expected, “Mystery Zone” is an improvement, but isn’t any sort of true achievement at all; quite close to filler material. “Who Makes Your Money” features what seems like a 50 Cent sample. “Written In Reverse” comes off as the album’s high point (at this point). The first thing that came to my mind was a similarity to Cold War Kids. “I Saw the Light” has some sweet effects, but that’s only original and cool up to a certain point. Unfortunately, not every song on here can be as good as “Got Nuffin'”. It’s got a catchy guitar pattern and a really great bass line.
Grade: B- (81)