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  1. #1
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Spoon live - Swish meets the band. Really.

    So my bud Eric and I make the journey to Philly to see 'one of my top 5 bands of the new century'' (have a hard time spelling millennium ). It was smooth sailing until we hit the infamous Schuylkill (Scoo-kull) Expressway, affectionately known by many Pennsylvanians as the Surekill Distressway, due to it being dubbed 'the most dangerous highway in America' at one time, and for good reason. It was jam-packed and slow going for the 15 miles it snakes into the city, but we made it to the Electric Factory by about 6:00, about an hour before the doors opened. Or so we thought. More on that later.

    First we got steered to 'Event Parking' by helpful people with yellow vests that took us several blocks south of the venue, but we paid the $10, then went to find something to eat, settling on a place called 'Lou's Your Lunch' or something like that, and the quality of the food matched the name. Then we walked to the Factory, only to find they had parking right next to it for $8. Nice. Then a girl in line told us 'there's free parking down the block on Spring Grove after 6:30'. Double nice. You could say I was slightly irritated, but I hadn't been to a show at this place in at least 6 or 7 years, so I blamed it on inexperience.

    The line outside had less than 50 people, which was surprising since it was sold out. Then we were told by security that the doors only opened at 8, contrary to what the website said, so I was starting to get pretty crabby, but we chatted with the others and made the best of it. We had our first day of 70+ degree weather, so it was kind of nice being outdoors, even as the temps cooled a bit.

    Just before the doors opened, some guy who obviously had an affiliation with the event walked up to us and asked if any of us were big fans of Spoon. My buddy harassed him a little bit, asking if he was with the parking lot people, but I told him I was a pretty big fan, so he asked me to name 3 of their records, so I rattled off Girls Can Tell, Kill the Moonlight, and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. He handed me a backstage pass and invited me to meet the band before the show. Cool! The troubles of the day were beginning to melt away. Eric whined about needing to have a pass since we traveled together, and the guy acquiesced, even though he protested and said 'so the guy who harassed me now wants a pass?'.

    We went inside after getting patted down for weapons, went to the second level which has a large L-shpaed balcony that extends from the back to stage-right, and has quite a large bar on the side. I grabbed a Sierra Pale Ale and we found 'seats' in the back that are actually the old style bar stools with no back on them. It was long before we were boasting about our back-stage passes and getting requests to ask for certain songs and so forth. One girl offered to save our seats but asked if he could get the band to sign her poster, so he agreed. Off we went to the Merch table and met the guy who turned out to be the road manager. He told us the band wasn't ready, so we hung out and found about 20 others also got passes. I saw a vinyl copy of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, a nice 180 gram slab, on the table being offered for $13, so I picked one up in hopes the band would sign it.

    The manager finally came back and had us follow him backstage, then instructed us to walk single file toward the band, told us they would sign a poster that would be given to us, as well as our albums (another guy bought one too), so we proceeded to the front and saw them sitting behind a poker table. They were all cordial and thanked us for coming, and graciously signed out stuff, including the poster that girl had given Eric. I didn't request the songs some others had requested, but lied about it when we got back to our saved seats. Being an official geezer, I just didn't feel comfortable asking them for certain songs. Tough darts.

    By this time the place was packed to the rafters, with SRO. The opening act was the Walkmen, a local band I would assume, and the sound was muddled and too loud, so I was happiest when they stopped playing. We were here to see Spoon, and the crowd was ready when they finally came out on stage.

    Without going through the entire set list, and understanding that I can't remember all the songs, I will tell you they played pretty much everything from Ga x 5 (tired of typing Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga), and the highlights were Don't Make Me a Target, You Got Your Cherry Bomb, and The Underdog, as well as some great stuff from prior releases, like 'Everything Hits at Once' (the first Spoon song I ever heard, track 1 from Girls Can Tell and remains a fave), I Turn My Camera On, and My Mathematical Mind. The 4 song encore started with a Rolling Stones cover that appeared to baffle the mostly younger crowd, and it happens to be one of my favorites, 'Rocks Off' from the seminal "Exile on Main Street', complete with a 3 piece horn section (they used horns in a number of songs last night), and it RAWKED!

    Anyway, it was a great show from Britt and company. This guy is a major talent who writes some great songs and was a total pro live. The sound was quite good and not too loud, which is always appreciated, and the band was tight and knows the drill. They're compiling quite a large song catalog and deserve more accolades than they're getting, but the few thousand or so in attendance were certainly happy, including me and Eric. I'm not an autograph seeker of anything, but I have a signed Spoon poster and album, and you don't, so bite my geezer butt.

    Swish

    Almost forgot...the album purchase give me the ability for one free digital download...but I already have the CD. Also, they played both songs those other girls requested, so I took full credit for 'requesting' them from the band. That's just the kinda guy I am.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  2. #2
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    Excellent night out, Swish. I'm jealous as hell. And that's prolly my favorite Stones tune they played, too.
    Mr. MidFi
    Master of the Obvious

  3. #3
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    You seem to have a lot of Rock and Roll encounters. I must look like the Boston Strangler or something.

    Glad you had a good time when it was all said and done.

    Hows the vinyl playing coming along? I haven't noticed any comments about the rekindled interest.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  4. #4
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    I just got the cartridge the other day and need to find...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    You seem to have a lot of Rock and Roll encounters. I must look like the Boston Strangler or something.

    Glad you had a good time when it was all said and done.

    Hows the vinyl playing coming along? I haven't noticed any comments about the rekindled interest.

    jc
    ...time to get it set up with that protractor. I'll be sure to get it fired up this weekend and will let you know.

    Rock and Roll encounters? Just dumb luck I guess. And not that many, I just try to have a good time and tell the story afterward. Fun stuff, and if you get a chance to see them, don't hesitate.

    Swish

    P.S. I was not the oldest guy in attendance, but darn close
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  5. #5
    Mutant from table 9
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    Swish is like our very own Riff Randal.

    I remember a couple of times in the "too cool" 90s were I found myself in the crowd next to a member of one of the acts on the bill that night. Specifically, the lead singer of Lush watching the opening act - that I don't remember- and Courtney Taylor of the Dandy Warhols watching Charletans UK (sp?). Everyone seemed too cool to acknowledge it other than a head nod. Ahhh... the nineties, too cool to ask for the autograph of the guy you just spent $25 to see.
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  6. #6
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    Well, I was going to make a smart remark when I saw this thread title, but since you put that much effort into describing your encounter, I'll not diss you Swish man.

    Glad you had a great time. Grandpa!

  7. #7
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Hey...diss away Rich. There's not too much else...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    Well, I was going to make a smart remark when I saw this thread title, but since you put that much effort into describing your encounter, I'll not diss you Swish man.

    Glad you had a great time. Grandpa!
    ...going on here, so you may as well have your fun. I never hold back, although I'm sure you know that by now.

    That was some effort, wasn't it? I have no idea why I was awake at 6:30 this morning after getting in at 1:30 AM, and no idea why I had to post that this morning. I guess I was just bursting at the seams.

    Swish Grandaddy
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  8. #8
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    I'm super jealous of the fact that you got backstage at The Electric Factory, never mind sitting with the band. Don't know how much of the original structure is still in place but the history of that place is a story all in itself. I know we talked about this venue previously but it must be a thrill just to be there. I guess I'm just an old fart who likes to reminisce about the early days of Rock, but the names that have gone onstage there are pretty lofty.

  9. #9
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Superb write up Grandpa Swish. Sounds like you had a blast. Spoon is still on my list of must see bands. On the rare occasions that they were over here I had things to do.
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  10. #10
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    Very cool to have found this good fortune Swish. I love this band from the first time i heard them on PBS.

    thereyet

  11. #11
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Hey Swish, that's very cool! Not just that you got back stage but that they didn't descriminate and they let an old geezer like you back there in the first place. Nice.

  12. #12
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Sounds like a cool evening. How many people were there that were close to your age?

    I've been discovering some of Spoon's back cataloge, Girls Can Tell, and its a pretty good album. I recognize a few of the tracks from past comps. I might have to break down and buy Kill The Moonlight.


  13. #13
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Very funny Aunt Esther. Your 'old' jokes are getting 'old'.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Hey Swish, that's very cool! Not just that you got back stage but that they didn't descriminate and they let an old geezer like you back there in the first place. Nice.
    Let's talk about something really funny. Like how the Flyers are in the playoffs and the Maple Leafs are not. Now that's funny.

    Grandaddy Swish - resident geezer (not as old as Davey, but close)
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  14. #14
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Very few...although one woman in line appeared to be...

    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    Sounds like a cool evening. How many people were there that were close to your age?

    I've been discovering some of Spoon's back cataloge, Girls Can Tell, and its a pretty good album. I recognize a few of the tracks from past comps. I might have to break down and buy Kill The Moonlight.

    ...older, but who knows? Most appears to be college-aged to me.

    As for their other records, Kill the Moonlight is among their best, along with A Series of Sneaks, Girls Can Tell, Gimme Fiction, and Gimme Fiction. Notice a theme here? In reality, they just haven't made a bad record, so I would recommend you get your hands on all of them.

    Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

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