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Spoon @ The Main (formerly Emo's Austin) // SXSW 3/15/2017. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Spoon @ The Main (formerly Emo’s Austin) // SXSW 3/15/2017. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

For every artist we decided to catch at SXSW, we decided to review each performance with our own version of “Five Ws and One H” answering the questions: 1) Who are they, 2) What kind of music do they play, 3) When did they play, 4) Where are they from, 5) Why did we decide to catch them play and 6), How was their performance.


WHO: Spoon (currently Britt Daniel, Jim Eno, Eric Harvey, Rob Pope and Alex Fischel)

WHAT: Call it indie rock, art rock or experimental rock, it all just rocks.

WHEN: 3/15/17 at The Main (formerly Emo’s Austin).

WHERE: Austin, Texas.

WHY: When you get the chance to see an extremely popular band play at venue that basically no longer exists where they planted their roots and developed their unique sound, you go.

HOW: Blurred Culture had the opportunity to attend a special KRCW session ahead of their SXSW residency at The Main, and that was enough to convince us that we couldn’t miss the band play their home town. Apparently, all of Austin had the same inclination. Spoon’s SXSW had a 3 night residency at The Main (formerly Emo’s Austin), and Austinite’s waited hours in line each night to have a chance to see their native sons rock it like they did starting up.

I arrived at the venue 30 minute prior to the scheduled performance time, and to my dismay they had restricted access to the photo pit for this show. I tried to find a spot relatively front and center to take photos of the performance, but as it turned out, in order to get a prime spot of concert real estate, I should have showed up right when doors had opened. Even when I asked a few audience members if I could sneak in front of them for 1 song to shoot, they each rebuffed my polite request (and in one instance even turned down $10) because, as one drunk dude breathed on my face, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to see Spoon perform here. You should have showed up earlier.” Yup. My bad.

The tough time I had shooting this performance, however, didn’t prevent me from fully enjoying it. Having just released their latest album, “Hot Thoughts”, they opened their set with “Do I Have To Talk You Into It” and the title track, in that order. But they also used their 13 song setlist to treat die-hard fans to a lot of their popular hits like “Inside Out”, “Do You”, “I Turn My Camera On” and “Rent I Pay”.

What was particularly special about this performance was how attentive and invested all of the fans in the audience were. Unlike many of the other SXSW venues, where there was as much chatting and drinking during performances as their was music, fans’ eyes were transfixed on stage. Even when I went to the back venue to shoot from a distance, those in the way back were also astutely paying attention to Spoon’s performance, singing every lyric along with Britt Daniel. You don’t see that kind of thing that often these days, and it was pretty damn magical.

PS: A special thanks goes out to the kind gal working Spoon’s merch table who let me store my gear bag at her table. May good karma bless you wherever you are.

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