La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


Spoon - First Ave. - 10/10/07

Ahh Spoon. You never let me down. You have been so good to Minneapolis. You even did two shows this time! We went to the 21+ show last night at First Ave. Spoon was great as usual. They have always been good at mixing up their set list with old and new. This time wasn’t any different. The interesting thing on that note is that everything they played up until the encore was in chronological order based on album. They started their set out with a couple tracks from my favorite (and arguably best) album A Series of Sneaks - Utilitarian and Minor Tough. Britt showed off his classic coolness with his subtle swaggers and playful glances at individual audience members. Continuing on with the set, they broke out a few selections from Girls Can Tell - Fitted Shirt (this song never gets old in concert) and Anything You Want.

In between songs, Britt bantered with the crowd a bit, at one point he even mentioned how much Spoon loves playing Minneapolis from the 7th Street Entry to the 400 Bar (hooray!) and finally to First Ave. The show continued with Small Stakes, The Way We Get By (OC fans unite!), Stay Don't Go, and Vittorio E from Kill The Moonlight. Missing from these selections was Jonathan Fisk, unfortunately. It was at this point that I began to notice the chronological sequence, and that there had yet to be a song played from their brand new album. That was OK with me, though, as many of their older songs succeed in a live setting a bit more than many of the newer songs. That being said, My Mathematical Mind from Gimme Fiction was one of the highlights of the evening.

After a few songs from Gimme Fiction, the crowed roared as many finally got to hear what they came for - The Underdog. While the songs off the new album were enjoyable enough, The Underdog and You Got Yer Cherrybomb were lacking some pizzazz without the horn section. Nevertheless, everybody danced and sang along to the new tunes. The show was not over though, as the guys came back for an encore and played even more old tunes - the fairly obscure Chips and Dip from one of their EPs, another classic from Girls Can Tell - Me and Bean, and finished 'er up with a rocking rendition of Quincy Punk Episode. All older songs! They treated their true fans well. Afterwards we hung around in the hopes that we could share a few cheers with the band, and got to meet and thank Britt for a great show. We even got a picture. Have I mentioned what a cool guy he is?


Arcade Fire & LCD Soundsystem - Roy Wilkins Auditorium - 9/30/07

If there were any reason to return from an extended absence of reporting on concerts around the Twin Cities, it would be to report on the much talked about tour featuring Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem...together...on the same night...on the same bill. This show was probably every indie hipster's wet dream, as it paired two of the premiere indie bands on the scene today. Hell, Arcade Fire is probably the indie equivalent to U2, and LCD Soundsystem is producing some of the best dance beats being played this side of Daft Punk. Anyway, enough build up – on to the show!

While I wasn't thrilled of the venue location (Roy Wilkins Auditorium) it was probably the best option. Arcade Fire has outgrown First Ave., and other options such as the State Theater (who would want to be seated at a show like this) and Xcel (hey, I said they were the INDIE equivalent to U2, not fan following equivalent) would be too big.

With disco ball en tow, LCD Soundsystem took the stage, opening their set with Us vs. Them. This set the stage for the remainder of the set, as it actually got a lot of the audience to pick their feet up and really dance (as opposed to "doing the standing still." The overhead lights then dimmed and the disco ball blazed with all of its glory. It was just as you would imagine an LCD Soundsystem show. Members from Arcade Fire joined the band on stage for a number of songs such as Win and his bro during North American Scum (personal favorite), My Friends (the drummer from AF provided the piano), and Someone Great (Régine helped out on the Xylophone). The set was a good mix from their self-titled debut (include Daft Punk is Playing at My House, Trials and Tribulations, and the insanely rocking Movement) and their fantastic new album Sound of Silver. The set concluded with probably the best dance single ever Yeah (no, not Usher. And if you thought that, you should stop reading my blog) and the set closer (and the album Sound of Silver closer) New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down. James Murphy, you are the MAN.

Seeing Arcade Fire is definitely an experience. From the first time seeing them at the 400 Bar, to a sold out show at First Ave., to the most buzzed about band at Lollapalooza 2 years ago, they have NEVER lacked energy. It is unbelievable to think they put out the same energy night in and night out. They opened their set with Neon Bible opener Black Mirror (during which made me think they were a couple obligatory F bombs away from The Fragile era NIN because of the goth look the members were all donning). The first half of the set was very heavy on newer tracks from Neon Bible (Keep the Car Running, Intervention, No Cars Go, The Well and the Lighthouse). Also, early in the set was the Neon Bible b-side Cold Wind, as well as one of the mellower tracks on Funeral Haiti (which is anything but mellow in concert). They began mixing it up with Funeral material when they played Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels). Also later in the set we heard Neighborhood #4 (Power Out) before ending their set with Rebellion (Lies) with the entire crowd providing back up vocals screaming also during "Lies, Lies!" Of course, enough is never enough of any Arcade Fire fan. The band came back out and finished the evening with Wake Up, most likely the most uplifting experience you are sure to be a part of at any concert. With everyone chanting along with the band, Win's bro (sorry Win's bro, I can't remember your name) made his way onto the balcony to get everyone else on their feet. Later in the song, Win made his way onto the floor to get groped by adoring fans to show he was a man of the people. Yes, Arcade Fire is THE premiere live band today. Shame on you if you have yet to see them.