Arts & Entertainment, Features

REVIEW: Built to Spill connects with fans during live show

[mediagrid cat=”32709″]Built to Spill filled the Paradise Rock Club floor Monday night with the single “All Our Songs” from their latest album, “Untethered Moon,” setting the stage for a night of passionate lyrics and frenzied fans. Even though they played as a three-piece band instead the usual five, the band gave a spectacular performance.

The the opening acts, Alex G and Hop Along, gave high-energy performances that got everyone in the mood for rock ‘n’ roll. Hop Along especially pumped up the crowd with the performance of their singles “Waitress” and “Texas Funeral,” eliciting cheers as they waited for Built to Spill.

Built to Spill had several high points in their performance. The first was when they played their all-time fan favorite track “The Plan.” The crowd went crazy as they threw their hands in the air, heads banging in unison as they danced along with the tunes. The mood got better and better as the band played hit after hit, including several tracks from older albums like “Big Dipper,” a huge sensation from their 1994 album “There’s Nothing Wrong with Love.”

The band toned down their high-power performance with the slower, softer “Strangers Inside,” a brand new single launched on this tour. The audience quieted down considerably and swayed with the music. Some people put on their phone flashlights and waved them in the classic concert style, all of the lights giving the relatively small venue a feel of a much larger setting.

The band returned back to high-power mode with their next track, “Virginia Reel Around the Fountain,” shaking the audience out of their reverie and into excitement.

The band then took a moment to thank the openers and the audience for coming, then burst into what they said would be the last song for the day. The next and the last planned song for the set was clearly a favorite among the crowd. As soon as the band began playing the opening riff for the song, the audience went crazy and cheered so loud the floor shook.

The audience sang along as the entire hall came together as one resounding voice. It sounded and felt remarkably beautiful, considering the insanity with which the crowd was reacting.

Built to Spill left the stage after this, but it was clear that the crowd wanted more. They kept shouting for more, and after a few minutes of constant screaming, the audience had its way. The band returned to stage for an encore. The moment Doug Martsch, the lead singer, sang “Christmas,” the opening lyric for the song “Twin Falls,” the audience lost it and sang along with him all through the song. The band played a few more songs as part of the encore and they ended on a high note with the 1997 hit “Untrustable / Part 2 (About Somebody Else).”  

The concert was a huge success, and the audience played a huge role in making it so. It was a sure sign that the six-year hiatus that the band had taken in between the release of the “There is No Enemy” in 2009 and the latest album, “Untethered Moon,” has done nothing to dull the passion with which their fans support them. Their connection with the fans and the beauty and directness of their lyrics make them the great band that they are, and as long as they don’t lose that, they’re going to be in the music scene for a long time to come.

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