Inside Out: Spoon works it for Stroudsburg fans and Philly travelers at Sherman Theater

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Spoon | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Whatever Philly did to piss Spoon off must surely have been grievous. Apart from two festival appearances (including this past summer’s killer Saturday-night set at the XPoNential Music Festival), the band hasn’t headlined a proper show here since their stop at the Mann Center, touring behind 2010’s Transference, some seven years ago. During their last tour in 2015, they played some 36 U.S. dates in support of They Want My Soul, one of which should have been but wasn’t at Union Transfer. Was it something we said?

“How many people drove up from Philly tonight?.” Britt Daniel asked the Sherman Theater on Sunday, semi-rhetorically. “Most of us?,” I kinda mumbled, looking around with a shrug. (Disclaimer: No disrespect intended to a healthy crowd of Stroudsburg’s school-night rockers.)

Spoon | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

With the house lights out, the opening notes of Alex Fischel’s synth cued up the scorching stomp of “Do I Have To Talk You Into It,” and launched into a set showcasing mostly their middle- and modern-era material like “The Underdog” and “Don’t Make Me A Target,” and “Don’t You Evah” from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and “The Beast And Dragon, Adored” and “My Mathematical Mind” from 2005’s Gimme Fiction. They reached back a bit further for just a couple, too, retrofitting the 16-year-old “Anything You Want” with a bit of a fuller guitar sound, and pulling “Small Stakes” from 2002’s Kill The Moonlight.

The five indie-rockers shined a warm spotlight on Hot Thoughts, their newest record, with six cuts including “Can I Sit Next To You,” “Pink Up,” and the understated menace of “I Ain’t The One.” Daniel seemed comfortable, casual, interacting with the crowd and even poking his head at one point into the “box seat” at stage left. Early on in the set, over the contemplative ambient pulse of “Inside Out,” Daniel sung in serenade from the edge of the stage to the band’s friend Stephanie, picked out in the crowd, kneeling from the edge of the stage.

Setlist
Do I Have to Talk You Into It
Inside Out
Hot Thoughts
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
Don’t You Evah
Do You
Via Kannela
I Ain’t the One
Anything You Want
Can I Sit Next 2U
My Mathematical Mind
Don’t Make Me a Target
The Underdog
Got Nuffin’
Pink Up

Encore:
Lowdown (Wire cover)
Small Stakes
I Turn My Camera On
Rent I Pay




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