I love Built to Spill. I used to listen to “Keep It Like a Secret” all day long, just looping through the slide guitar goodness over and over. Last week I was given some comps for the Built to Spill show at First Avenue by my friend (and DJ) Pam, who kicks ass.
It was like coming home. Everything was still flat black and funky. The tattooed, dreadlocked, and pierced employees still stalked from one end of the club to the other, up and down the stairs, behind the bars - everywhere. The music is still being cranked to unbelievable levels- drinks vibrate in your hand, and your brain melts into delicious goo.
Built to Spill opened with a skillful yet mechanical instrumental, loosened up a bit with something that I hadn't heard, and then hit me all at once with something from “Keep It Like a Secret” that practically knocked the wind out of me with its seeming perfection. It was “Center of the Universe”, and there I was, singing along at the top of my lungs- the center of my own little universe. Melissa and I swayed under the force of the onslaught of beauty.
They played “Cortez the Killer” for an extended psychadelic reggae dub freakout solo, where an extra (third!) guitarist came on stage to help out. Echoes and reverb stretched out to the horizon and the solos rode the tradewinds into the - ummm, well - eventually I started to want to hear a new song, but it was pretty cool.
Pam wanted to know if they played “Reasons”, “Car”, and “I Would Hurt a Fly” (I think). They played the first two (and “Car” was spectacular. One of these days I am going to go get “There's Nothing Wrong With Love“, because I've really only heard the live versions.
I should mention the opening bands - The Solace Brothers led off, playing straight forward rock that got better as Melissa and I grew more absorbed in Tetris. Their keyboard seemed to reach farther into the forefront as their set progressed, and that's a Good Thing. Their guitarist had a trucker hat and a molester moustache. Add in a mullet and you've got the unholy trinity all in one. Oh well.
I don't remember The Delusions very well - aside from a general feeling that they didn't suck. I think their guitarist, Jim Roth, was playing guitar for Built to Spill, and it sounded like they had always been together. Hmm. Note to self: check out The Delusions.
It's funny, but when I started thinking about this a week ago, I could swear that I had a lot of really cool ideas and marvelous turns of phrases. I should write that shit down. Oh well.