Saw Built to Spill last night at the 9:30 club. When I went to their last show in DC, one of the band’s back-up guitarists (not Doug Martsch, thank God) ranted on-stage about Hugo Chavez and freeing Mumia. The band then proceeded to jam out as a video from the Earth Liberation Front played in the background. Despite great renditions of “Big Dipper” and “The Plan,” I was pretty disappointed by the obnoxious political theatrics.
Last night the band stuck to 1997’s “Perfect From Now On,” playing the entire record straight through. It was a satisfying experience. “Randy Described Eternity” and “I Would Hurt a Fly” started out a little slow, but the rest of the show was nearly pitch-perfect. The crescendo of an encore (featuring “Car” – every casual fan’s favorite Built to Spill song) was outstanding.
The Meat Puppets’ opener was another show highlight (I’m tempted to agree with this City Paper reviewer). I can’t claim great familiarity with the band, but their live set was very impressive, and the dismemberment of a cardboard Bush cut-out during a lively cover of “Waltzing Matilda” is a definite step-up from Hugo Chavez shout-outs.