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August 9, 2017

Mishawaka Amphitheater, CO


It would not be hyperbole to say Spoon, since their first EP release in 1994, has consistently been one of the best indie rock bands around through the late 90’s and 2000’s. I first became familiar with them (like a lot of people) from their 2007 hit “The Underdog” off their sixth album “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”. What I didn’t know at the time, and really not for a few years after, is how good all their previous albums and EPs are. Most bands I get somewhat bored of their sound after a few albums and this is not the case with Spoon at all. Even their newer work, while admittingly not my favorite, pushes their sound and a new direction and after seeing them perform some tracks from it live grew on me a bit.

This was my first time finally seeing Spoon live and my first time checking out the beautiful Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Colorado right along the Poudre Canyon. It was a bit of a drive (2 hours) for a week day, but I was flying out of town the next day so why not. Fellow Austin, Texas band Sweet Spirit opened for them as my friend and I got to the show pretty early to beat rush hour getting up. I don’t know how to even characterize Sweet Spirit as they were a bit all over the place from more punk influenced songs to piano ballads but were really entertaining and won the crowd over by the end. Front woman Sabrina Ellis was quirky, not afraid to make awkward jokes on stage, and really put herself out there, which I respect. They were fun and seemed genuine about their not always so serious music and attitude.

Spoon opened with “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” off their new album Hot Thoughts and from there played a good mix of new and old.  They played my favorite song off their past two albums “Rainy Taxi” which is more or less a catchy pop song with an edge over a really droney baseline as well some of my favorite older songs including “Everything Hits at Once” and “Black Like Me”. For the encore, Britt Daniel played “I Summon You” solo which was maybe my favorite part of the show. I’ve tried in the past (mostly unsuccessfully) to get the singing and guitar down on this song so to see him do it way better than I ever could was both awesome and humbling. Finally, they closed with one of the longer and more experimental songs in their catalog “My Mathematical Mind”.

I had really high expectations for this show and Spoon lived up to it. I enjoyed that even their performances of some of my not so favorite newer songs from them were, I must say, pretty damn good live and have me giving their newest album another shot. Like with a lot of bands I love that change direction in sound, I hope newer fans give their older albums a listen as well and appreciate all they have done in the past 25 years. Once they stop just being the opener for so-so bands at Red Rocks shows, I would love to go see them there!

Article By: Christopher Beliveau

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