Concert review: Spoon at The Palace – St. Paul, MN – September 16, 2017

All photos courtesy Joe Stadele Photography.  All rights reserved.

“I want to thank the Twin Cities for being such beautiful people. So much great music from this place that to be appreciated by you guys means a lot to me.” ~Britt Daniel

Pushing 25 years, Spoon may be one of the most underappreciated bands in rock. However, if you were to base the band’s output and live shows thus far in 2017 – Britt Daniel and company are operating at the top of their game. 9-albums in, Hot Thoughts is their best top-to-bottom album to date. Hot Thoughts is sure to go down as one of the best albums of 2017. Live — there are few bands that demonstrate the cohesion and musicianship, precision in pacing and command of the audience in which Spoon demonstrated during their back-to-back sold out performances at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul.

Oddly, Spoon’s professionalism begins with their merchandise booth. Seriously. T-shirts were only $20. Vinyl records = $20. Autographed copies of Hot Thoughts on vinyl = $25. The t-shirt designs featured appealing designs. Perhaps it’s just me, but I got the vibe going into the show that this band’s sites are set far beyond pocketing every last fan dollar — and perhaps, it’s these tiny gestures like this which continue to grow a grassroots fanbase even 25 years into the game.

Saturday night’s show began with Alex Fischel alone on keys, pushing swirling drones into the Palace atmosphere which built and expanded until the keys of “Do I Have To Talk You In To It” cut through and his band-mates took the stage. “Here we go walking down a long dark road,” sang lead vocalist/guitarist Britt Daniel; the perfect words to describe the nearly 2-hour/2-encore journey the band was to take the audience on. [Note: If trading for musicians were a thing like it is for players in the sports world, Alex Fischel has proven to be a pivotal gain for Spoon.]

Beyond the setlist, what was most impressive was the multi-instrumental interplay between the band members and dramatic command over the audience. Songs moved fluidly into one another. Fischel and Gerardo Larios’ ethereal Richard Wright/Pink Floydian keyboard interludes fluidly connected songs and kept the energy moving between songs, and even when the rest of the band was taking an offstage breather. At times, Britt Daniel joined Larios on keys and Fischel picked up a guitar to jam with Daniel; all while Jim Eno and Rob Pope held down the low end and kept bodies dancing to the beat all the way up into the balcony.

“Twin Cities, we love you. So much that we decided tonight would be a good night to film this shit.” For those of you who were unable to attend Spoon’s back-to-back sold out performances at the Palace Theatre, rest assured, Britt Daniel and company will [soon?] have a document of, at least, their epic Saturday night performance. Or better yet, check Spoon’s live show out for yourself!

Set List
Do I Have To Talk You In To It
Inside Out
I Turn My Camera On
The Beast And The Dragon, Adored
Rainy Taxi
Don’t You Evah
Do You
Via Kannela

I Ain’t The One
Anything You Want
Can I Sit Next To You
My Mathematical Mind

Don’t Make Me A Target
The Underdog
Got Nuffin’
Black Like Me

Encore 1
I Summon You
Pink Up
Hot Thoughts
Rent I Pay Second

Encore 2
First Caress
Everything Hits
Small Stakes

Follow Joe Stadele on Instagram: @joestadelephotography

 

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