Photographs by Sean Chin.
Spoon have been around for a while. They dominated many critic’s lists that came out within the late 90’s and the 00’s. Their blend of art and indie rock brings out the loudest of tremelo pickings and the most lush of harmonies. With their return, it’s no question that they would be a fan favorite at NXNE this year. However, the audience seemed to slowly wither away right after Mac DeMarco’s set and it was worrisome that that day’s headlining band may not have gotten the recognition they so well deserved. After all, they are the most consistently praised band of the 00’s (or so says Metacritic).
The theme for 2001: A Space Odyssey started playing, and as it reached its climax, the stage lights began to go wild. No band appeared during this. A few minutes later, Spoon arrives on stage and singer Britt Daniel says, with an astounded smile, that they didn’t intend to walk out to that theme but that it would suffice. The band began to play, and the crowd began to grow. This may not have been the band that many came to see, but it is the band that many deserved to hear. Their delightful music, which is indeed wonderful on album, truly shines live where all the small details can be appreciated (such as a quiet tambourine polishing the percussion section). The melodies were uplifting, and the stand out moments (such as Alex Fischel’s uncontrollable guitar solos) really hit hard.
The lighting wasn’t over the top but classy enough to add something to the nighttime set. The band donned button up shirts and stylish garments. The overall package of their set was smooth, appreciative and cool. With a whole list of classic hits, many that people have heard before but have never realized were a part of Spoon’s catalogue, fans couldn’t have gone wrong and new listeners were treated to a nice closure to their evening. The crowd by even the second song into the set was now as packed as it was earlier, and Spoon attracted the attention of the Toronto public by their music alone. With a whole discography worth checking out, new fans had much listening material to get into and Spoon have furthered their careers as a staple of indie rock.