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2005-05-12 08:58:16 (link)
Spoon 'n Jack

Spoon was Jack Daniels’ hot little secret Sunday night in Madison. The Austin, Texas, band played a private show at the Annex and, thanks to aforementioned corporate sponsorship, tickets were only available via radio giveaways, inane contests or personal connections. It’s only thanks to a friend’s influential status (well, he called it “begging”) that was I able to get into the show.

Inside the venue, the whiskey giant made no secret of the fact it had put on the show. Everything inside the club was plastered with posters, stickers and temporary tattoos – most notably on the butts of the Jack Daniels girls in ass-less chaps.

Walking through the crowd before the show, the seemingly random dispersal of tickets placed Spoon devotees (snaking their way to the front row) next to biker dudes (buying shots of Jack for $1). This great stratification placed me (young, working professional) next to four college students (sophomores, best guess).

Spoon comes on; Jack Daniels has no need for an opener. Lead singer Britt Daniels warned he was losing his voice but you couldn’t tell. He and the band immediately started lathering up the crowd with best-of-Spoon mix of cuts from their new album, “Gimme Fiction,” and older songs. “I Turn My Camera On” and “Sister Jack” helmed the concert but the band didn’t neglect “The Way We Get By,” “Fitted Shirt” and “Small Stakes.”

Spoon moved swiftly from song to song, applying their concise songwriting formula to their stage show. Britt didn’t bother with stage banter; just sneaking in a few “Thank Yous” before dropping the next tune. Although it was obvious not every one in attendance knew about Spoon’s new album – or that Spoon is a band at all – their music pulled people away from the bar and got heads bobbing.

But as much as I enjoyed Spoon’s musical performance, I found myself fascinated by a certain habit of Britt’s – that of locking in on a cute girl in the front row and staring at her for most of the show. When Spoon played Madison last year, the same phenomenon occurred.

“I’ve never felt so neglected as an audience member,” my concert companion said of last year’s show and Britt’s tantric focus on the pair of Front Row Girls. It wasn’t quite so bad this time. I like to think I stole a few seconds of this coveted eye-time.

Jealousy and Jack Daniels girls aside, Spoon played straight into the hearts of their fans. But, more importantly, the band persuaded a crowd of half-believing contest winners that they can rock just has as their favorite bands. Maybe even a little harder.

Concert Review at a Glance
Opening act: N/A
Musicianship: Super
Stage presence: Restrained, but in a good way
Best song: Either “I Turn My Camera On” or “The Way We Get By”
They should have played: “Advance Cassette”
Best pants: Britt Daniels
Atmosphere: Jack Daniels
Worst jeer from the crowd: “You have a nice falsetto!”

by Kristin V. Johnson

P.Fork Gimme Fiction Review
T.Mixtapes Gimme Fiction Review
Spoon Official Website
Merge Records


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