Built to Spill - Crescent Ballroom - 5/7/13
"You guys are really fuckin' great," Martsch told the crowd, following a heavy, chunky version of "Hindsight." He followed this up with "Else" and an over-the-top "The Plan," reaching deep into the guitar leads for amazing tone and texture, and a driving "Kicked It in the Sun." For this trio of songs, the crowd response reached its peak, cueing off the band's best-known album.
The band mixed in songs from throughout its catalog. "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" cooled things down a little, as did the off-kilter "Hurt a Fly." Martsch, never one to show much emotion on stage, actually shrugged after this one as if to say, "That was okay." The crowd, however, thought much more of the song than that.
"Carry the Zero," with its thick, wah-wah guitar sound and heavy mood swings, closed out the set to enthusiastic applause. The five-song encore opened with "Good 'Ol Boredom," downplaying the need for too many friends. "This is a Bob Dylan song," Martsch suddenly announced next, tackling "Jokerman" with angst and fury, giving the poppy love song a grungy thrashing.
Though Built to Spill wasn't at full strength, Martsch showed there was plenty of life left in the band, despite that fact there has been no new music for almost four years. At this point, it's on the stage where Martsch feels most comfortable, and those in attendance on this night were most happy for that.
Last Night: Built to Spill, Crescent Ballroom
Personal bias: At first, I only listened to the band because I liked the name. Now, I truly appreciate the heavy guitar work and creative prog-like passages.
The crowd: Mostly college-aged, but an "older" mix, too.
Random notebook dump: Martsch looks like Gimli with that beard, but his axe is a guitar.
Blonde 1: "How was your date with Mike?"
Blonde 2: "He kissed like a virgin."
Blonde 3: "How was that?"
Blonde 2: "His tongue raced around my mouth like it was the first time."
Setlist (as written by Doug Martsch):