Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Built To Spill @ Headliners Music Hall August 29th 2010

This wasn't meant to be, nor is it a music blog. It just so happens that the last two shows I've attended here in Louisville have been the only things to motivate me to post blog entries, as by the time I'm done writing and formatting happylouisville.com articles (and now Louisville Libertarian Examiner articles) I tend to loose interest.

Anyways, just a few notes about the show:
  • I went by myself. After plans to join the Zombie Attack (which I didn't really want to do anyways) fell through, I used it as an excuse to check out one of my as of then unseen (besides the 2008 Sasquatch! Music Festival, and that doesn't count) favorite bands. I have no problem going to shows alone, I find it relaxing. It's just like going to a movie alone.
  • Why am I plagued by jock morons who pay to go to shows just to scream-talk over the music, hug their girlfriends from behind, and only pay attention once every half hour to throw out devil-horns and scream the name of the fucking band? (I moved, the show improved 10-fold)
  • Unless it's some obscure B-side to a single that was featured in a Taiwanese action movie that only you, the band, and 1,000 other people have ever heard before, please do not scream out (really popular) songs you want to hear during a small show like this one. It makes us all look bad.
  • Built to Spill are old. Scott Plouf (drums) looks like my old landlord in Chicago, Brett Nelson (bass) looks like my next door neighbor who is always yelling at his cat (named "Crazy") to get out of the middle of the street, Jim Roth (guitar) looks a little like the Dad in Juno, and Doug Martsch looks like Doug Martsch. Brett Netson (guitar) just looks kind of awesome. 
  • Watching a guitarist (Brett Netson) smoke an entire cigarette without ever touching it, while playing guitar with a cloud of smoke around his head, will never, ever, ever get old.
  • Plagued by sound issues, the show was still great. Though the lights were way too bright for the first half (until Doug Martsch complained) there is something comforting about a bunch of dudes in t-shirts jamming out. No frills, no light shows, no smoke machines, a minute here or there to fix a broken string, whatever. In fact, this is one of those times the whole formality of the encore seemed almost comical. I could see them standing behind the curtain.
  • Presumably because of the Zombie Walk, the place was at half-capacity at best. At first I thought this (coupled with the sound issues, light issues, and the fact that the band had to come on and do their own sound check for some reason) was bothering them, as they looked half-interested at times. However, I remember them looking exactly the same in front of 30,000 people at Sasquatch so I think that's just Built To Spill, and while "Carry the Zero" is one of my top 50 favorite songs of all time, I'm sure I'd find it hard to put on a smile while I played it for the 357,892nd time (just an estimate).
  • That said, as I had looked up other previous set lists from this tour and found that they almost always played "Carry the Zero" as the last song before the encore, and this didn't happen Sunday night, I feared the worst - and kind of understood. When they closed the encore with it, I'm not embarrassed to say the first chords choked me up a bit. a bit. 
  • The band broke down the stage themselves post-set, while chatting with fans, signing autographs, and taking pictures. Fantastic. 
Overall, I'm very glad I went, and it pains me to know that this intimate show in a half-empty music hall comes off the tails of 20-year indie rock veterans opening for Kings of Leon in amphitheaters across the country this summer. Ugh.