After a last minute postponement on Thursday night’s show, (the first in which Spoon has ever had to push back due to vocal concerns) Brit Daniel was back with a nod and sip of hot tea when taking the stage at The Palace. The double dose of Spoon for the Twin Cities is now split with a return gig this Sunday at First Avenue.
Opening the set was their cover of “Held” (by Smog) off their newest album Lucifer On The Sofa. The coolness of Brit poured over the room, easing into the set. They dipped back into a few older songs, “Small Stakes” and “Don’t You Evah.” Brit paused to welcome St. Paul and share that “My voice is still a little wokey” before chugging into what should become the local hockey team’s upcoming playoff anthem “Wild.”
“And the world, still so wild, called to me
I was lost, I’d been kept on my knees”
Whatever small ounce of vocal strength Brit didn’t have, it was two-fold mixed back into his guitar playing. “My Mathematical Mind” was a prime example as trademark Spoon unfolded; the repeating simple piano part, the sporadic grating of guitar solos, and the tight thumping drive into a climatic resolve all blended together. A recipe for success for almost 20 years now.
There’s a hallmark of attributes to the group for anyone who has tasted Spoon before. The Brit-isms of holding up the guitar to the crowd, welcoming them to take part in the song, and his crouched stance with his guitar low on his hip, grinding away with finesse. All the while Alex Fischel stiffly channels the energy through his body while slamming out keyboard parts and guitar solos. Finished with Ben Trokan’s hamming up the audience by dipping into the crowd at one point.
Spoon is one of the most acclaimed bands that unjustly haven’t won a Grammy yet. Performing “The Underdog” to an adoring wave of cheers should all the reason enough to see this no-brainer absence. But it’s the gentler songs like “My Babe” and “Lucifer on the Sofa” that added a softer depth to the setlist. Songs that fit comfortably in Brit’s vocal range, both exceeded by cooking dynamics into the night.
Leaving the stage to the minimalist jam of “Got Nuffin”, Brit returned and shared that he was “thinking of songs to play with an injured voice.” That choice landed on a Tom Petty cover “A Face in the Crowd.” This is followed by welcoming opener Margaret Glaspy back on stage for a Richard & Lina Thompson cover “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight.”
Coming back on stage for a second encore, Brit delivered a stunning performance of “Black Like Me.” Lyrically poignant due to the current state of his voice as he took care of us last night.
“I believed that someone would
Take care of me tonight.
Oh and as I’m looking out at you
Can you see that in, in my eyes
On the mend,
Now they could lead me home”