Word by Aric Mayer

Built To Spill :: 10.04 - 10.06 :: Irving Plaza :: New York, NY

Built To Spill
I've been a big fan of Built to Spill since 1996 and last saw them perform in Berkeley in the fall of 2004. With a three-night run in my backyard of New York City, it was hard to stay away.

Following a solid but somewhat lengthy set from the reunited Camper Van Beethoven, who warmed up the crowd with a nice Pink Floyd cover or two, Doug Martsch and his band Built To Spill came out swinging on the first night of three shows at Irving Plaza with "Goin' Against Your Mind." It was great to see excited teenagers in the crowd, revved up and clearly enjoying the new material. Older fans were in heaven as well when the band fell back to survey four tunes from 12 years of solid, creative recording: "Reasons," "The Plan," the gorgeous "Else," and the rapturous rock of "Stop the Show." A stellar cover of "Rearrange" by The Gladiators followed, then back to 1997's Perfect From Now On with "Untrustable," a track they favored heavily on this run.

Doug Martsch - Built To Spill
By Kim Rottmayer
Irving Plaza is intimate enough that the sonic textures of the three guitarists, bass, and drums were beautifully contained, losing none of the richness or rocking drive. Brett Netson, Jim Roth, and Martsch use a ton of gear, switching off on slide, playing for texture and support, and alternating on the lead riffs as well, with tons of pedals and effects that give the band a unique blend behind Doug's haunting tenor, which carries over the loud din quite well.

In addition to leading the band through heavy guitar workouts and singing all the songs, Doug spent quite a bit of time fussing with an onstage projector that sent out images of frolicking cats, an old Lassie children's book and lots of artwork by Mike Sheer, who designed the cover for You In Reverse. Although a nice addition, it's the grinding guitars and building brilliance of the songs that fans flock to when thinking Built To Spill.

I attended the third show too, and despite complaints from fans on message boards about repeating setlists, the band played only half the tunes from the first show - and several of those are from the record they are promoting (You In Reverse), which is of course the point of touring for a signed band. The arrangement of "Strange" was a notable addition to Friday's set, with a great segue to an end section that I had never heard before. "Carry The Zero" closed the set both nights featuring a great build-up leading to a rocking finale that the band seems to enjoy as much as the crowd. The encore clocked in at almost 20 minutes each night - "Broken Chairs" on Wednesday and then "Randy Described Eternity" for Friday - fully experimental, sonically bizarre, and ragingly loud.

10.10 | 9:30 Club | Washington, DC
10.11 | Cat's Cradle | Carrboro, NC
10.12 | Cat's Cradle | Carrboro, NC
10.13 | Variety Playhouse | Atlanta, GA
10.14 | 40 Watt Club | Athens, GA
10.15 | Zydeco | Birmingham, AL
10.17 | House of Blues | New Orleans, LA
10.18 | Warehouse Live | Houston, TX
10.19 | Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom | Dallas, TX
10.20 | Stubb's BBQ | Austin, TX
10.24 | Jake's Sports Cafe | Lubbock, TX
10.29 | Sam Boyd Stadium | Las Vegas, NV

JamBase | New York
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[Published on: 10/11/06]

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Grupp Tue 10/10/2006 03:43PM
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Before you send mail or start flaming, I see the typo - PERFECT FROM NOW ON was released in 1997, not 2006...

All Loving Liberal White Guy Tue 10/10/2006 03:59PM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

i like how this dude spells his name with an A

jweir420 starstarstarstar Tue 10/10/2006 06:31PM
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Thanks for covering Built To Spill, one of the few indie rock bands who embraces jamming.

mcmanust Wed 10/11/2006 09:18PM
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I was at the first show and I had such a good time. I was coming from the Mets crazy win over at Shea and was pumped for a great show. Camper Van Beethoven was such a huge surprise. I know they're good but they were awesome live. My friend and I were like "what the hell is this?!!". Built to Spill is one of the top three bands I've ever seen live and I've seen almost everything there is from Jambands to Indie Rock. "Else" was amazing, one of my favorite songs and "Stop the Show" rocked. Please, Please go see the guys if you've never seen them.

cachitongo starstarstarstar Fri 10/13/2006 02:43PM
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I have a ticket to go see them on Tuesday in NOLA. Looking forward to seeing them for the first time!

Lord-K. starstarstarstarstar Sat 10/14/2006 11:33AM
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Saw BTS at the Copper Dragon in C-dale. Amazing some of the best guitar jamming I have heardf in a long time live.

tDB and Gravy starstarstarstar Tue 10/17/2006 03:28PM
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tDB and Gravy

Nice Review!

Leaving Baton Rouge right now for the BTS show in NOLA tonight. Can't wait.

morter5730 starstarstarstar Mon 10/23/2006 06:06PM
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Mike Scheer is amazing, the art really added allot to the show. Make sure to check out his website, its ridiculous