Built To Spill @ First Avenue Mainroom
Setepmber 19th, 2012
With no introduction, Built To Spill launched directly into their set Wednesday night after sound-checking their own instruments in clear view of the audience. The show kicked off with “Traces,” the second track from the bands 2006 release, You In Reverse. Doug Martsch, arguably the heart and soul of Built To Spill, took center stage and played the majority of the show with his head down and eyes closed, only popping up to sing vocals while his rapidly-tapping right leg sent a wiggle through his body that left his head bobbling. At one point during “Reasons,” a pleased smirk washed across his face as the crowd roared for more.
A full house packed with people of varying ages cheered loudly between songs, with some of the loudest outbursts heard during fan favorites such as “The Plan” and “You Were Right” from 1999’s Keep It Like A Secret. Only one of the songs in the setlist , the frenetic “Pat,” came from the bands most recent studio effort, There Is No Enemy, released in 2009. Otherwise, long-time fans got a healthy dose of well-played classics mixed with extended jams such as “Virginia Reel Around The Fountain,” from the live record Built To Spill released over 12 years ago.
Of course, what would a Built To Spill show be without an encore? Martsch and crew came back to the stage and were joined by the vocalists from their supporting acts, Terra Lopez of Sister Crayon and Jason Albertini of Helvetia (formerly of Duster) to play a cover of “Crimson and Clover,” made famous by Tommy James and the Shondells.
Though the band are not much for crowd work, Martsch did take a moment to thank the long-time fans who were around for the first show Built To Spill played in the Twin Cities 15 years ago at the 7th Street Entry. The show closed on a jammed-out version of “Broken Chairs,” the closing track on both Keep It Like A Secret and the Live record.
Since Built To Spill haven’t released a new record in nearly three years it might be hard to know when they will grace the stage of First Avenue again. But if the fact that the last time they played Minneapolis was just over a year ago, chances are pretty good that the combination of great music and a band that clearly love to play will bring Built To Spill back to our fair city in no time.
Written by Noel Clark, Radio K volunteer