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Four things we loved about Spoon at TLA

Spoon
Photograph: Chris Sikich

It wasn’t, as local weather forecasters would have you believe, the impending snowstorm that ruled Tuesday night in Philadelphia. It was Spoon. Playing a rare headlining, non-festival show in town, the Austin-formed rock band showed us why they are one of the best rock bands on the planet with solid set list that included tracks ranging from 2017 LP Hot Thoughts all the way back to 2001’s Girls Can Tell. Here are some photos and observations from the night.

1. Britt Daniel is the soul of Spoon.

Britt Daniel of Spoon at the TLA

A charismatic leader in every way, Daniel led the charge. With his guitar slung around his back like a rifle and a voice unique and rich, he drank in the energy of a sold out TLA—and fed that right back to the audience. He is a consummate, captivating showman—one of the best we have.

2. Spoon sounds better than ever—even on borrowed equipment.

Spoon at TLA

From the sensuous beat of “I Turn My Camera On” to the triumphant chords of “The Underdog,” the group of Daniel, drummer Jim Eno, bassist Rob Pope, and keyboardists and guitarists Alex Fischel and Gerardo Larios were fantastic. Despite playing with borrowed equipment due to a Customs snafu, they surged through welcome older cuts like “The Fitted Shirt” and the title track to last year’s Hot Thoughts. No Spoon fan left disappointed.

3. The light show was really cool and complementary.

Spoon perform at TLA

Spoon has never been guilty of being predictable. Just look at their diverse catalog that includes soulful works like “Black Like Me,” rock anthems such as “My Mathematical Mind” and dance masterpieces like “Hot Thoughts.” This variety manifested itself in the stage setting and light show that moved from expansive sections of brightness to narrow spotlights that had Daniel and company squeezing in and out of shadows and moving amongst beams of deep blues, reds and greens. It was a sight and sound dream.

4. Sneaks opened with a sparse and unexpected set of pop beats.

Sneaks performs at TLA

Eva Moolchan (A.K.A. Sneaks) opened with tunes that may have taken Spoon fans by surprise, but her poppy, hip-hop tracks from her latest LP It’s a Myth got people moving and turned out to be a great appetizer for the Spoon spectacle that followed. Keep your eyes on her.

Eva Moolchan (A.K.A. Sneaks) at TLA in Philadelphia

More photos of Spoon

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