Spoon Thrill Hammerstein Ballroom with Tour-Closing Show
May 09, 2022
Spoon – Hammerstein Ballroom – May 6, 2022
It’s passé at this point to note Spoon’s longevity as a band. That was the story three or so albums ago. It’s 2022, Spoon are now canon, arguably the most consistent band in rock music today, and the only thing stopping their momentum on this latest run is that pesky global pandemic. They wrapped up their tour supporting the (obviously) excellent Lucifer on the Sofa, closing out at Hammerstein Ballroom on a rainy Friday night. The concert, originally set for 4/16 was rescheduled when some members came down with COVID. “We appreciate you changing your plans to come see us,” singer Britt Daniel told the soggy-but-thrilled-to-be-there fans filling the ballroom.
Spoon’s Smog cover, “Held,” the slow-building, heavy-swinging track that kicks off Lucifer on the Sofa, also just so happens to make for a hell of a show opener. The first portion of their set was defined by this unstoppable momentum, with Spoon classic after classic repeatedly transitioning into another, all rhythms guided by the impeccably tight drumming of Jim Eno. “The Hardest Cut,” which begs a driver to step on the gas, played to the audience like it’s already earned its place on a list of Spoon’s all-time greatest. Their main set ending with “Wild” evoked a similar feeling, a big sense of this song is so good it will probably follow me for the rest of my life. “Inside Out,” the ephemeral and synth-heavy classic off 2014’s They Want My Soul, was another big favorite among younger fans in the crowd, a reminder that Spoon’s singles have acted as new entrance points to the band for decades.
After this run-through of Spoon classics, a lengthy encore filled with covers followed, plus guest appearances and the seldom played “The Mystery Zone,” which guitarist Alex Fischel has been asking the band to play since he joined in 2013. The encore began with Daniel covering the apropos “Isolation” by John Lennon, singing through it alone at the keyboard before the song exploded into its own chorus. Opener Margaret Glaspy joined for a rendition of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight,” and then for the final two songs, Spoon welcomed Dan Boeckner (also a member of Daniel’s other band, Divine Fits) for his own Wolf Parade song, “Modern World,” followed by Spoon workaday anthem “Rent I Pay.” —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks
Photos courtesy of Edwina Hay | thisisnotaphotograph.com