Pounding rain and uncovered stage sets do not a good outdoor concert make. For one thing, Rockefeller Park lacks the muddy joie de vivre of English music festival venues. Also, unlike the Paltrows, Mosses, and McCartneys of the world, I was ill-prepared: somehow, despite all my best efforts, I had misplaced both my high-end wellies AND my rocker boyfriend. Where IS my mind these days? (Note to self: Minna - tighten up and find your misplaced rocker boyfriend ASAP).
But those of us who stuck it out last Wednesday for Spoon's River to River show were terrifically rewarded for our commitment, not to mention the damage wrought on our green patent leather Marc by Marc Jacobs flats. Ahem. To Britt Daniel and Co. we say: bygones. Spoon released their 6th album on Tuesday (streaming here), leading me to believe that their River to River appearance would be little more than a promotional opportunity. However, not only did the festival organizers make the shrewd decision to nix the opening band, but by the third song it became obvious that the band was pretty damn thrilled we'd waited around for 1+ hours to hear them. They dipped in and out of Gimme Fiction (My Mathematical Mind, I Turn My Camera On, I Summon You) and genuinely rocked their new stuff (esp. Underdog, Don't Make Me a Target, You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb) with the help of their dance-hall style horn ensemble pals onstage.
As the sun set, the clouds over the Hudson went all pretty and stretchy, like pink taffy, and I couldn't help thinking that the whole thing was pretty inspired and that the residents of the high-rises along the Hudson were giant squares for shuttering their windows to all of this.
Eventually, the drizzle started up again, spooking the crowd with the idea that the show might get cut short after all that effort (you try smoking AND holding an umbrella). When the band started getting warning looks from the stage people (something wishy-washy about "electrocution"), Britt Daniel waved them off, turned back to the mic and in two words said everything we'd all kind of secretly wished someone would say about us from the start: "So hardcore." Then they played three more songs.
I think I found my rocker boyfriend.