Spoon deliver Hot Thoughts to Sydney; captivate their audience free of gimmick

Thursday night, American act Spoon performed to a fully packed Metro Theatre, travelling in the wake of their latest release, Hot Thoughts.

The most noticeable and impressing aspect of the band’s performance was its intentional understatement: the set was free of gimmick, distracting light design, or larger-than-life rock star ego, and yet was effectively captivating in spite of—or arguably because of—this.

The set-list was heavily laden with new tracks, including single “Hot Thoughts,” the Stones-eque “Can I sit Next To You,” and the melancholy “I Ain’t The One”. Despite the latter possibly being the saddest song Spoon has ever written, the track went over well live as their first encore, Britt Daniels’ vocals resonating throughout the audience with haunting permeation. The act also played their expected earlier hits, with “Don’t You Evah,” “Rent I Pay,” “I Saw the Light,” and “Underdog” garnering the strongest crowd reaction.

Spoon’s 20-year-plus long legacy is obvious, as the band commanded the stage with an experienced maturity, yet the performance was not entirely void of playfulness: drummer Jim Eno at one point played drums using maracas, while Daniels periodically messed with Eno’s symbols. Additionally, keys and guitar player Alex Fischel provided a necessary element of haphazard energy, performing his most notable guitar solo amidst “The Beast and the Dragon, Adored”.

Overall, the set had only one flaw: the band’s choice of closing encore. The slow-driven “My Mathematical Mind,” left the audience on a note flatter than if they had just ended with the pre-encore “Rent I Pay”. Alternatively, “You Got Yr Cherry Bomb” would have made a more energetic close to an otherwise perfect night.

Spoon played the Metro Theatre in Sydney on Thursday night, March 23rd. Hot Thoughts is out now.