Saturday night... Spoon at Café Du Nord

Categories: Last Night

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Better Than: Fork.
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On the night of July 14, there was a sweaty tension in the air as we waited for the headlining band to come on. It was like those last few minutes before the teacher lets you out of class, except it was a little more PG-13. A couple guys sporting backwards baseball caps massaged their girlfriends. One hardcore indie kid (who’s probably known on indie rock message boards as something like “dark_sadness246”), stood at the very front with his arms crossed, glaring at anybody who threatened his spot. Meanwhile, the smell of beer, sweat and perfume stirred into a pasty aroma all around us. Shoulders and feet bumped and shifted as people tried to make their way closer to the stage. The obligatory drunk guy groped both men and women. And the obligatory flamboyant guy named Pierre rocked back and forth and started frothing at the mouth because goddammit he just couldn’t stand the wait.

Then Spoon appeared.

The band bounded in from stage right with beers in hand. A few pre-show gulps then the band bounced into their set and happy hands blustered up out of the crowd. Front man Brit Daniel transitioned back and forth between a microphone-gripping falsetto and a paroxysm of choked shouting. Drummer, Jim Eno, and bassist, Rob Pope, laid out the shimmies and shakes. Most musically inventive was keyboardist Eric Harvey, the night’s poet laureate who typed out dashes of onomatopoeia: beep-beep, boop-boop, swish-swish, and occasionally, kerplunk.

San Francisco must have been starving for a spoonful of Spoon because Café Du Nord was packed like a soup kitchen giving out ice cream to the needy. One guy told me he’d been waiting outside the club since three o ‘clock that day just to get tickets. These fans just have to have their ice cream, and Spoon definitely served it up.

The thing is, I think Café Du Nord was a bit too small for the amount of people in there. This made it way hot. I half expected the fire marshal to bust in and start blasting kids with a fire hose.

The show was in support of Spoon’s latest album, aptly titled Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. The title is a clever mimesis -- the music does, in a way, enact a kind of “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.” It saunters along in a kind of happy-scary march, like a bunch of babies dancing to Sgt. Pepper’s.

So the kids love Spoon and Spoon loves the kids, and the show reflected that. At their worst, and only on occasion, Spoon delivered spoonfuls of egg-flavored ice cream. But at their best, they covered our faces with rocky road, leaving us sticky and satisfied.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I love rocky road.
Random Detail: Nice pool table in the back.
By the way: These guys are on the same record label as Dinosaur Jr. and The Arcade Fire. Check it.

--Ty Window (the writer formerly known as Tyler Callister)

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