Built To Spill | 07.05 | Boston
Built To Spill :: 07.05.07 :: Avalon Ballroom :: Boston, MA
Doug Martsch (vocals, guitar) and company opened the night’s sonic mind melt with “Liar” off 2006’s You In Reverse. The song featured an extended, jammed out intro, which the group utilized to fine-tune some of their uncooperative gear. Things started out slow but not poorly. Following “Liar,” the group melded into an older tune, “The Source,” from their pre-Warner Brothers album There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. The most impressive aspect of the early chunk was the quintet’s ability to bring their studio work into a live setting. They stayed true to the familiar lyrical arrangements while stretching out the instrumental segments with exploratory jams that offered something new but still kept things to the point.
The only complaint was the band’s lack of energy. While focusing on their instrumental prowess, the group barely looked at the audience. Martsch sporadically graced us with an occasional comment, but for the most part, the members of the group barely looked up from their instruments. In fact, interaction onstage between members was so rare it left one wondering how these guys managed to communicate. Most bands utilize a nod here or there to queue a solo, or a quick gesture to go over sound levels. By keeping to themselves, they demonstrated that they couldn’t have been more focused on their own piece of the audio puzzle. For a first time Built To Spill attendee, this degree of inward performing was far from expected. However, as the set progressed, it became more and more clear that their lack of stage antics has played a large part in the development of their honest, what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach.
Given their low-key style, anyone looking to catch a wild night of pyrotechnics and dudes in Mohawks leaping off their amps, Built To Spill is probably the last band you’d want to see. However, the group is honest about who they are and what they seek to provide. We’re talking about a group that is simply not interested in trying to humor newcomers but performs for the unique few who accept the terms. For those seeking sonic exploration where you can close your eyes and drift away, Built To Spill will always be one helluva treat.
Check out Built To Spill’s “Conventional Wisdom”
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