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The Pops get a run for their money from Spoon

DCR Memorial Hatch Shell
Boston, Massachusetts


It’s true that little can beat the intimacy of club shows, and seeing your favorite band in a small venue is probably
one of the most gratifying musical experiences any fan can have. That being said, the next best thing might be
seeing a phenomenal band in a beautiful setting like the DCR Memorial Hatch Shell in Boston. As part of the
FNX new music series, indie legends Spoon and New York darlings Longwave hit the outdoor stage for a free
concert on August 18. As Spoon pounded through their stripped down, turned up catalogue, the setting sun on
the Charles River presented a strangely fitting backdrop. Staring out at the crowd filling the esplanade lawn, even
Spoon front man Britt Daniel appreciated the view, saying “This is a beautiful place to play.”
Lines in the Suit
The Beast And Dragon, Adored
Me And The Bean
Someone Something
The Fitted Shirt
The Delicate Place
I Turn My Camera On
Sister Jack
Paper Tiger
Small Stakes
They Never Got You
The Way We Get By
My Mathematical Mind
Metal Detektor
Jonathon Fisk
The show started up at 6 p.m., but for anyone who was there early enough to
hear Spoon soundchecking “Lines In The Suit,” it was obvious the acoustics
of the Hatch Shell were perfect to catch every punchy line. The handful of
people who were already dotting the lawn applauded loudly as Daniel
chastised them. “You guys are aware that this is soundcheck, right? The
show is better. It just gets better.”

And shockingly, he was right. Opening with “The Beast And Dragon, Adored,”
off of their most recent album,
Gimme Fiction, Spoon didn’t waste any time
hyping the crowd. Surprisingly, however, Spoon played at least one song off
of every album apart from their debut

Spoon’s charm comes, in part, from their minimalist sound, playing only
those basic instrumentals that must be played to get across the message of
the music. This strategy is especially impressive in a live venue. As each
song incites overwhelming emotion and individuality, it’s almost as if the
specific songs of the group are living entities. Spoon is a band that doesn’t
rely on studio enhancement to make a statement, and when they’re right in
front of you, it’s impossible to miss the point: if the message is authentic, it
doesn’t necessarily need to be overwhelmed by gimmicky musicianship.
Originally hailing from Austin, Texas, Spoon has consistently won critical acclaim, and with the release of
Gimme Fiction they finally seem to be gaining that same respect from fans. Since 1994, Spoon has been one of
the most original bands in the industry, and it’s nice to see them finally receiving recognition. With Britt Daniel’s
staccato vocals driving each word into the air, the sarcastic intention of the band’s lyrics, and the on-point
punctuality of Jim Eno and Josh Zarbo on percussion, there are few ways to spend a better evening than taking
in a Spoon show.

Longwave, a post-punk quintet from New York, opened the show with a series of melodic, eerie songs off of their
new album,
There’s A Fire. Originally forming in 1999, the band started off with very basic, although catchy,
songwriting. Their major label debut,
The Strangest Things, came out in 2003 and was so overtly simple that it
was instantly intriguing. When it came time to record their follow-up, however, the band was riddled with tension,
and two of the founding members left immediately before sessions began.

The band regrouped and found temporary members to help them record before branching out and putting a
revamped version of the band together. With the addition of Paul Dillon on bass, Jason Molina on drums and Jeff
Sheinkopf on keyboards and guitar, the band was ready to tour. Losing two founding members led guitarist
Shannon Ferguson and singer/guitarist Steve Schiltz to experiment with their sound.
There's A Fire is a much
edgier record than the band’s previous releases, focusing on a futuristic reverberating sound.

Recording for the first time with John Leckie, a near-legendary producer who has previously worked with bands
like Radiohead and the Stone Roses, also helped to guide the band towards a denser, more complicated
sound. Nevertheless, the album still leaves you feeling as though Longwave has some unrealized potential.

Although this release is a major improvement from their previous album, there is clearly more that could be
done with the angst-ridden tones pouring from Schiltz’s vocals. Longwave is already a good band, but I’m pretty
sure that by their next release, they’ll be a great one.

But as they opened for Spoon, there were plenty of crowd members who just weren’t paying attention, and for a
band with as much talent as Longwave seems to possess, that shouldn’t be happening at their live