Today in Lyrical Perjury 101: We watch as Spoon frontman Britt Daniel begins his band’s opening night stand at the former downtown Emo’s location with a new song, “Do I Have To Talk You Into It,” punctuated by the phrase “Words get stuck on the tip of my tongue.”
Daniel is probably inhabiting a character in the song — laden with ghostly keyboard flourishes — who seems to be about a couple experiencing emotional gridlock. But it’s still a bit tough to imagine one of the most precise and quotable lyricists in recent rock history as ever finding himself at a loss for words.
The flesh-and-blood Daniel singing those words (and many, many more) on Tuesday night was in top form; spitting out lyrical accusations one moment, crooning a long-gone remembrance the next, all of it riding atop the sturdy bounce of drummer Jim Eno and bassist Rob Pope.
An extra attraction of the band’s three-night stand in one of their early years incubator clubs – cannily renamed Eno’s in tribute to the band’s other co-founder – is that audiences can get an early listen to songs from the new “Hot Thoughts” album that drops on Friday.
Tuesday’s show featured four new tracks, all of them of a piece of what the band does best while adding new colors in spots. A late-set pairing of new songs “I Ain’t The One” and “WhisperIlllistentohearit” saw Daniel holster his guitar and only singing, with the latter song featuring an ‘80s synth rock vibe that recalled New Order at several points. One can expect the set lists for each of the three nights will cover most of the new album collectively.
And the band’s back catalog still sounds exciting and fresh, with the keyboard stabs of “Small Stakes” sounding bigger than ever, the teasing lines of “Don’t U Eva” still provoking yearning and “The Beast And Dragon, Adored” continuing to rank as one of its most sophisticated and yet accessible compositions.
Tough to tell if there’s a surer bet this SXSW than what’s in store each night when Spoon takes the stage and Daniel and Eno get to take a victory lap with friends and bands in the crucible that saw them become one of the best Austin bands ever.
SPOON NIGHT 1 SET LIST
Do I Have To Talk You Into It
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
I Saw The Light
Don’t U Eva
I Ain’t The One
Rent I Pay
My Mathematical Mind