Words & Images by: Scott Galbraith
Built To Spill :: 09.09.08 :: Slim's :: San Francisco, CA
Built to Spill played to sold out crowds at Slim's this past Monday and Tuesday. As promised, they delivered their landmark 1995 major label debut, Perfect From Now On, in its entirety. If you are a Built to Spill fan, this album likely ranks up there as one of your all-time favorites. Indie rock fans largely recognize this album as being one of the more pivotal releases of the '90s, up there in stature with Dinosaur Jr.'s Green Mind and Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. Perfect From Now On brought the underground music community a fresh approach with its intricate songs comprised of guitar driven, floating melodies, changing tempos and jammed out sections. If there is one thing this show did it was remind the audience of what a great album this was and continues to be. Whether it was an album you grew up listening to in college, or maybe even middle school (at least a few in attendance), hearing it live in its entirety conjured memories of a time when you only came across great records if someone actually handed them to you.
A great part about this show was that Doug Martsch and crew seemed to be playing strictly for the fans. Instead of promoting their latest release, You In Reverse, they chose to play an album that is almost 15 years old. The show wasn't billed or expected to be a landmark performance or tribute to the famous album. It was simply a solid BTS show where you knew what songs they were going to play and in what order. They made sure to give each song its own time and attention but didn't extend the songs much beyond the original recorded lengths. A song like "Stop the Show," which is normally expanded into a set closing 10-15 minute jam, was barely explored. This would have been a great show for Martsch to play each song on the album in a new and unique way, yet most of the songs stuck to the familiar studio versions. It wasn't until they had completed the last track on the album, "Untrustable," that they deviated by jumping into the first track on You in Reverse, "Going Against Your Mind." This was the perfect song to end the set, showing fans that the latest Built To Spill is just as good as the classic BTS.
Encoring with two songs from their 1994 sophomore album, There's Nothing Wrong with Love, "Car" and "Stab," showed that this really was a show for the old schoolers. As with every Built To Spill show I've attended, I left completely satisfied while simultaneously wanting more - just like a rock show should be. It would be great if the next time they came through town they played a multiple night run, each night playing a different album, but they would certainly would have to play a bigger place than Slim's for such an undertaking.
09.09.08 :: Slim's :: San Francisco, CA
Randy Described Eternity, I Would Hurt a Fly, Stop the Show, Made-Up Dreams, Velvet Waltz, Out of Site, Kicked It in the Sun, Untrustable/Part 2 (About Someone Else) >
Going Against Your Mind
Second Encore: Stab
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