Image Credit: Whitney Pastorek/EW.comThe top of Spoon’s set list for their headlining slot in Stubb’s chilly backyard Wednesday night read, “Last SXSW Ever.” Was it? Well, we’ve got a call in to find out. But if that was the end of their relationship with this monster of a music festival — Britt Daniel has moved to Portland, after all — it was a damn fine exit interview.
On a stage festooned with old-timey lightbulbs and packed with vintage gear, the foursome (and their friend Jordan, on percussion) made their metronomic way through the hits. They didn’t dip too much deeper than Kill the Moonlight, but fresh-off-the-vine tracks like “Written in Reverse” matched up nicely next to beloved old friends like “Vittorio E.” and the poignancy of “Black Like Me,” with a cover of the Damned’s “Love Song” thrown in for good measure. Spoon may be one of the most consistent bands in all indie-rockdom: Though Daniel seemed in subdued spirits — the typical jerking and slashing of his guitar kept to a minimum save for the break in “My Mathematical Mind” — he was cheerful and yelpy. Jim Eno was his usual brilliantly steady self behind the kit, and Rob Pope’s bass echoed through the Stubb’s sound system like boulders. Even though “The Underdog” suffered from lack of album production (okay, horn section), undeniable pop gems like “I Turn My Camera On” had the crowd up front engaged in a total dance party by the time the band laid into a fierce three-song encore: “Is Love Forever,” “Rhythm and Soul,” and “Finer Feelings.” The latter’s lyrics about seeking “commercial appeal”: pointed commentary on latter-day SXSW? Only the enigmatic Mr. Daniel knows. (You can stream the full set on NPR’s website right here; recommended!) READ FULL STORY