Mar 12, 2016

Built To Spill @ Manning Bar

Boards with stacks of pedals are placed on stage. The band members shuffle on stage. Long beards, slightly unkempt. They bend over and check their gear. They don't need roadies. House lights are still up. Lead singer Doug looks ready. Lights are dimmed. Doug says hi. This is Built to Spill. There is zero pretense. But this band is as important as any band in the history of rock. For over 20 years their melancholic melodies fused with epic guitars have made hearts melt. They certainly have for me. I have been in love with for all of these years and the have lost nothing. They fly totally under the radar these days. So an undersold Manning Bar Thursday night was comfortable and full of true disciples. Converts to the church of Doug Martsch and Built to Spill. My seventh time seeing them and greatness never sounded better.

The set was well put together with a good selection of old and new, with heavy emphasis on their latest release in 'Untethered Moon'. But to start with 'Randy Described Eternity' was more enough to put this gig into orbit. Holy cow! 'Time Trap' soared and 'Goin Against Your Mind' was a supersonic blast. Long haired guitarist Brett Netson seemed to have problems with his large pedal early on. It was clearly frustrating him but he finally seemed to sort it out so that his guitar could counterplay with the glorious riffage of Doug and Jim Roth. It certainly was a crowd pleasing gig with many old and young fans fervently enjoying each guitar lick and riff. Then the encore raised stakes just a little higher. Two covers. One expected. One not. The Blue Oyster Cult was fun and goofy and then they did a superb rendition of 'How Soon Is Now' the stone cold classic of The Smiths. It was certainly a great sight to see most of the audience singing along with gusto and joy. Then it was was back into the catalogue to close with 'Stab'. A perfect way to close a great night.

Set List
Randy Described Eternity
Center Of The Universe
Living Zoo
Time Trap
On The Way
Things Fall Apart
Mess With Time
Never Be The Same
Goin' Against Your Mind

(Don't Fear) The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths cover)


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