Monday, November 07, 2005

Spoon 11.06.05. Warsaw

by Charlotte Deaver

I did take pictures of this show, but I'm not going to post them. It's the New Warsaw Bakery that takes the cake, so to speak.

Spoon was disappointing, so I hesitated to even write about them. Let's just say the band was solid. Had this been a rehearsal for a recording session, we'd all be impressed by how well-prepared they were.

But hey! What about us! Hello, boys. There are people out here!

I actually think they forgot that they were performing in front of real human beings. And it's not that they were nervous or unsteady; this band was on the ball. They knew their material, their licks, their moves -- no, they had no moves -- their transitions between songs, like nobody's business.

The club might have had something to do with it. Warsaw is a Polish theater/dance hall sort of place, the kind of space at which a high school prom might otherwise be held. To me it felt like being crammed into the bottom of a very tall cake box with a thousand other people. We could stare up into all that open space above us, while hardly being able to see the stage.

Warsaw is not an intimate space, nor is it an arena. Perhaps it could have been transformed into either, had the band made any attempt to connect with its audience. I think they spoke to us twice -- some banalities about being in Greenpoint and selling out the club. Otherwise, they shifted from song to song with impressive accuracy, but little charm.

My friends (below), however, are very charming, so the evening was by no means a loss. And the little spark of magic that we didn't find inside, instead we found outside, by the New Warsaw Bakery, as the morning bread was baking.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Carlotte, David here. I went to both Spoon and Elbow as well. I searched for you both nights, unfortunately, never found you. Next time we'll just buy tickets together.
After reading your posts on both shows, it strikes me at how existential things really are. Two people (obviously not hanging together, see above) in the same place, experiencing essentially the same thing, can have two completely different takes on that experience.
Elbow, to me, just wreaked of pretension and yuppieness. It seemed like they knew that there were ad execs or the person who compiles the Starbucks compilations in the audience and tried their best to impress (along with their best Coldplay imitation). Whereas Spoon just came out and got down to business. Raw, tension filled, powerful rock and roll. They didn't need to talk to the audience to bring us in, the music spoke for itself.
Obviously, the venue affects perception. Elbow at the uber hip, luxurious Hiro Ballroom, replete with a starchitects design($7 beer). Spoon at the Polish National Club (you gave great description) in working class Greenpoint ($3 beer). At one point when the crowd was in a frenzy, Britt Daniel (Spoon frontman) remarked "this is the shit!, this is the shit!" with a huge smile on his face. He told how the night before they had played at the Nokia Theater in Times Square. You knew what he meant by "the shit". They were loose, having an absolute blast. It had a real down and dirty rock and roll feel to it.
To be fair, I really didn't know Elbow's music before seeing them and I did know quite a bit of Spoons. That was a factor. I also think proximity is a factor as well, albeit a small one. For Elbow we were in the back, for Spoon, near the front. One of the biggest factors though, is were your head is at. I guess I was in a Spoon head.
Anyway, love you, love the blog. By the way, I saw the Super Furry Animals Sat. night at Webster Hall. Phenomenal!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Charlotte Deaver said...

Hey David. Not existential, exactly. Just different perceptions. I WAS up front for most of Spoon, to the right, and returned to the back right after the "this is the shit" comment you mention. I remember thinking, "really? This is?" I thought I might as well be home listening to the CDs, which I do a-plenty, and love. About Elbow, they're much older and have been around longer than Coldplay. They're just not big. Have you ever read anything about them? They're actually NOT thought of as pretentious at all in Manchester. If they were pretentious, they'd have moved to London and hooked into the clubbing scene. That's very clearly not their thing. Anyway, see you soon. Use your cell phone next time, if you're actually serious about hooking up at these shows. I would have loved to have seen Supper Furry Animals. Too bad for me, I guess. xo

7:29 PM  

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