Friday, October 12, 2007

Live Reviews: Wilco and Spoon/The Ponys


Download: Wilco - "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"

"I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' ever since, and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal." – Kurt Vonnegut

I've always been a sorehanded attendee of the all-ages show because it's so often used as a urinal.

Wednesday night was Wilco. Wilco was amazing, as per usual. But they feed off of the closeness of the crowd and the excitement of those who really love them. I bet you can guess what I'm going to say next. The seats killed the atmosphere. If you want to know what Wilco is really like, see my review of the Duluth show.

And on top of it, unlike every other venue on Earth, Northrop lists the show time and not doors on their ticket, so I (along with everyone I know) missed Andrew Bird.

Wilco MySpace Page
Andrew Bird MySpace Page

The Ponys

Download: The Ponys - "I Wanna Fuck You"
Download: Spoon - "My Mathematical Mind"

And last night was The Ponys and Spoon.

The Ponys opened and were exactly what I needed. Sometimes you need early '90's style garage rock to lift you up. There's something about hearing your own misery played out in someone else's notes that never fails to fix everything that ails you. And The Ponys played out my saddest, most desperate moments with the greatest of fuzz and power.

Maybe The Ponys aren't miserable. Maybe the lead singer is so reminiscent of Kurt Cobain that it hurts to look at him. But maybe that's what you need sometimes. They weren't too original, but they had presence and power and they reminded me of being a teenager. I appreciate that.

And then Spoon came on. Just as I was uplifted, they had to come on stage and fucking phone it in. I understand that all ages crowds are kind of obnoxious, but is that a reason to put on a bad show? Spoon is a great studio band, but a lot of the effects on their albums don't translate well to a live show. Having no stage presence and not speaking much to the audience doesn't translate well to a live show. If I wanted to hear a direct translation, I would look at a still of the band while playing Gimme Fiction (and for all they moved and acted exciting and fun, I might as well have been looking at a photo).

I don't know if they were better at the 21+ show, but if they're normally so boring, skip 'em when they come to your town.

Spoon MySpace Page
The Ponys MySpace Page

(April Wright)

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Anonymous Erik T. said...

They most assuredly were fantastic at the 21+ show. Sorry you didn't enjoy them last night. Read my review of what you missed out on here-Cheers.

3:11 PM  
Blogger April said...

They look so much happier and sweatier in your photos:(

I hate being a damn urinal.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you less about Spoon. Boring? You don't sweat through your shirt entirely when you're phoning it in. Were you in the bathroom or talking when Britt talked to the crowd? He definitely interacted with the crowd on several occasions and was way more engaging than the Ponys.

10:18 PM  
Blogger April said...

No, I wasn't in the bathroom, I was bored out of my mind with the rest of the crowd except for the four Spoon fanboys in the front and the middle-age woman next to me who kept moaning Britt's name.

"Minneapolis huh?" "All ages, what does that mean?" "No drinking down here!" Wow, I'm astounded by Britt's wit and charm. Almost makes up for the bass player, who didn't move at all during the entirety of the show except to pick up a drink.

What a great comment! No wonder you posted it anonymously!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woah. lighten up.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, that was a ridiculous response

12:18 PM  
Blogger April said...

Hey, if he would have said that he disagreed with me for X, Y and Z reasons, that would be no problem. But "I disagree with you, therefore you're incompetant and must not have been doing your job" is not okay.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little touchy huh? I read his post and it said nothing about not doing your job or being incompetant - you are likely jumping to conclusions. And to agree with the first poster - yeah, the 21+ show absolutely killed. High energy, rockin' setlist, tight songs and it sounded unbelievable!!

8:32 AM  

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