White Rabbits took the stage first. The six-piece band tore through a set of songs from their debut LP, Fort Nightly, including "Kid On My Shoulders," "The Plot" and "While We Go Dancing." They also played a new song called "Fox Hunting." The band recently signed to ATO Records and plan to release a new album next year.
Three of the band's members were wearing blazers with no shirts, which The Walkmen later revealed was because they lost in ping-pong repeatedly the night before. The band were not allowed to say anything about "losing their shirts" the night before while on stage.
The Walkmen took the stage next, playing a slew of new songs from their upcoming release, tentatively due out in August. The new songs included "If Only It Were True," "On the Water," "I Lost You" and "Canadian Girl." The band did play a few songs from their three previous LPs including "Wake Up," "Little House of Savages" and "All Hands and the Cook."
Singer Hamilton Leithauser confidently dominated the stage, both with his performance and his incredible height. He wore a three piece suit and between belting out intense vocals, would occasionally just stare up toward the ceiling like he was in a daze.
Spoon took the stage with a fury and immediately launched into "Japanese Cigarette Case." Through the night, the band played all but one song from their latest release, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. "The Ghost of You Lingers" was beefed up with toms towards the end that sounded like guns shots, adding some intensity that was lacking on the album version.
One standout song in the set was the Paul Simon tune "Peace Like a River." The band added the Spoon stamp on the song, giving it new life. Another rare tune was "Chips and Dip" from Spoon's first release on Merge Records, the EP Love Ways. The song was preceded by Britt Daniel saying that Merge is the "Number one record label...and it's just up the road."
The only weak song of the night was "The Underdog." The song is just week live without the horns. Keyboardist Eric Harvey played the horn part, but it was lost in the mix. I can't complain about one dud in a 22-song set.
The band played great all night, but Daniel was the focus of attention. His swagger and confidence kept all eyes on him.
Spoon is a great example of a band who has achieved success the hard way, through years of touring and releasing records. They've managed to beat the odds and find success. The sold-out show at Carolina Theatre is proof that good music can still appeal to a large audience.
Here's the Spoon setlist:
Japanese Cigarette Case
Rhythm & Soul
Stay Don't Go
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
The Delicate Place
The Ghost of You Lingers
Peace Like a River (Paul Simon)
Don't You Evah
Don't Make Me a Target
Chips and Dip
Back To the Life
I Summon You
I Turn My Camera On
Black Like Me
The Beast And Dragon, Adored
Quincy Punk Episode
If anyone can fill in the gap
[Thanks to our readers for the setlist help. We're only missing one song now.]