Outside Lands, I never got to see a proper Built to Spill show on their tour for There is No Enemy, their excellent album from last year. Luckily, Doug Martsch brought his group of dad-looking indie gods back to LA in October, and it was a typically great set.
Also typically, they played songs from all over their discography. We did get four from the album, including the rocked-out "Pat," which led into "Carry the Zero" for an incredible close to the main set. Martsch is one of the most consistently entertaining frontmen out there, though not because he says anything funny; in fact, he hardly speaks to the audience at all. Rather, his somewhat Muppet-like appearance (the photo above do it no justice) and spastic shaking around of his head make it seem impossible that he could sing, let alone shred the way he does. And yet he holds it all together while looking like he might go crazy at any time.
For the encore we got a different version of Martsch, as he came out with just an acoustic guitar to play a couple of his solo compositions. No less emotional in his singing, he still had a very different calm about him during this part of the night, and it was interesting to see. The band came right back out though, tearing off a great rendition of "Time Trap" to start the final drive. During "Broken Chairs'" extended outro, my tired legs were no match for my rocked-out soul.
Set List: Traces / Stab / Hindsight / Distopian Dream Girl / The Plan / Life's a Dream / I Would Hurt a Fly / Planting Seeds / Else / The Wait / Joyride / Things Fall Apart / Pat / Carry the Zero
Encore 1 (Doug Martsch solo acoustic): Dream / Offer
Encore 2: Time Trap / Twin Falls--->Some / Broken Chairs