Sunday night marked the first event hosted by the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles, and Spoon’s performance kicked off the venue’s birth in sweet Southern style. Donning a black cowboy shirt and black bandana around his neck, rock ‘n roll bandito Britt Daniel led his band of badasses in an unforgettable show.
Despite being mesmerized by the silky, shiny sheen of fresh lights on a brand new stage, I could see my fellow audience members’ lips moving along to the words of show opener “Rainy Taxi.” Yes, many songs off of the band’s latest release They Want My Soul (August, 2014) were featured in the setlist, along with classics like “Trouble Comes Running” and “Who Makes Your Money?” And of course, the crowd was abuzz at the opening rhythm to the ever-popular “Don’t You Evah,” and the simple, yet intoxicatingly sexy bassline of “I Turn My Camera On.”
The devotion of the fans in the room was clear as cheers hailed in a newish song, (hopefully) slated for the band’s next record. “Satellite” is the ballad every sad girl wishes her significant other would write for her. I caught myself swooning at every sweetly supportive lyric and the originality of the melancholy triple-metered melody. Daniel sure knows how to hook ‘em. After all, during “I Summon You” he’d flirtatiously grin over a sea of silhouettes, as he’d test the crowd’s knowledge of his recorded vocal ad-libs. My cheeks were as red as the lights when I heard my voice and one other belt out the “UH HUH” after the first chorus.
Also charming is Alex Fischel, the newest addition to Daniel’s crew. Frantic guitar strums paired with a clear love for his bandmates (as reflected in his very literal and very sensual tête-à-tête with keyboardist Eric Harvey) proved that this guy had become an unconditional force in the dynamic of the group’s live performances. Of course this all had to have been driven by Jim Eno’s enthusiastic drumming and Rob Hope’s crisp-as-fuck bass licks.
A solid hour and a half ended with “Underdog,” which we all knew was simply a coda to what would become another half hour or so of rocking out. The band exited the stage as roadies, holding flashlights in their mouths, returned guitars and reorganized the layout a bit. And then they reemerged, ready to lasso the audience right back in. Harvey pointed out what a rad audience they had before them, and insisted they make an encore appearance. Predictable or not, this was a welcome treat to us all. “Can you guys come with us on tour for every show?” Daniel teased.
Britt, I guarantee in that moment you got a couple hundred invisible RSVPs marked FUCKING YES PLEASE.