The intrepid showmen Spoon descended on the 9:30 Club for two sold out nights of glorious rock and roll. They are touring with the also great Margaret Glaspy, who opened the show in fine fashion.
I went to the second show on April 12th, and though they did not play the setlist in the same order, they mostly played the same songs between the two shows. And as someone observed, their set was very ‘quick and efficient’, moving seamlessly between each song.
Spoon has been around long enough to already be touring for their 10th studio album, Lucifer on the Sofa (via Matador Records) released in February. Do you remember all of their albums? If you’re like me, you may need to revisit some of their catalog, and get immersed in the rediscovery of all the gems from such an accomplished band.
The Austin, Texas band is currently comprised of Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar) and Jim Eno (drums), Alex Fishcel (keyboards, guitar), Gerardo Larios (guitar), and Ben Trokan (bass, keyboards). Spoon was founded by Britt and Jim in 1993, who remain the only two members that have been there the entire run.
After Margaret regaled us with her set, Britt and company kicked off with “The Beast and Dragon, Adored”, the first of four songs from 2005’s Gimme Fiction.
They played their breakout hit, 2007’s “The Underdog” early, so what could possibly top that? Lots of new songs, and a couple covers for sure.
Bathed in the ever changing ceruleans, vermilions or ambers cast by the stage lights, the gents wove an impressive setlist of songs that covered the full range of their career. They included seven songs (of 22 total) from Lucifer on the Sofa, including the single “The Hardest Cut”, about a long-term relationship that’s difficult to let go of. Alex switched over to a guitar to give the riffs a bit more swagger.
Later they played “Wild” from Sofa, which seems to speak to the lure of the wild environs of Mother Nature to replace the fake and hollow societal norms of conformity and the give/take of capitalism. Heady stuff, but I’m ready tocommune with Nature.
The main set closed with “Jonathan Fisk”, about someone that beat up Britt in middle school, who was a bully, religious pretender and manipulator. Much of Spoon’s music touches on topical social issues, and what better way to end a show during the times we live in, with so many Jonathan Fisks out there.
They deftly executed not one, but two encores. Highlighted by the cover of “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” by Richard and Linda Thompson, where they brought Margaret back on stage to sing the main vocals, with Britt on chorus. Britt and Alex also returned for the second encore and started a paired down vocals and piano only version of John Lennon’s “Isolation” before the remaining members came back on to give the song its full effect.
The last song of the tight, yet robust, set was “Rent I Pay”, about the hardships of the life you choose.
A fine, fine evening of rock music all around. And DC proved to be up to the task as a music city, with the two sold out shows.
Margaret Glaspy opened the evening with 10 guitar-drivenbangers. During Spoon’s set, Britt proclaimed that “her voice is the best in the business”. As apt as that may or may not be, what struck me most was the superb amount of guitar shredding, both from Margaret and her backing band, including the long, emphatic intros to some songs.
Margaret’s second full-length album is 2020’s Devotion (via ATO Records), and she played a couple songs from that album including “Stay With Me”. It is a plea for their love to stay, even though they may not have acted like they wanted them all the time. Many of Margaret’s songs speak to empowerment or the fallibilities of love, coated in a gleaming rock sheen. You will enjoy.
Margaret is from California and began her solo career in 2012, after a short stint with the band The Fundies. Next time she visits DC, with Spoon or without, go check out her show!
Margaret Glaspy Setlist
- Stay With Me
- Memory Street
- You and I
- Emotions and Math
- My Body My Choice
- The Beast and Dragon, Adored
- Small Stakes
- Don’t You Evah
- Do You
- The Devil & Mister Jones
- The Hardest Cut
- My Mathematical Mind
- The Underdog
- My Babe
- I Summon You
- They Way We Get By
- Inside Out
- Feels Alright
- Jonathan Fisk
- Don’t Make Me A Target
- I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Richard & Linda Thompson cover)
- Isolation (John Lennon cover)
- I Turn My Camera On
- On the Radio
- Rent I Pay