24 July 2007

Built to Spill - The Depot - SLC - July 21, 2007

How's that for a creative post title, eh? After "concertutional" I figured it best to play it safe this morning. Especially when we're dealing with a band that has often been considered one of Idaho's three greatest exports. (Well, okay, maybe not often... maybe my Idahoan compadre, Emron, is the only person to ever call Built to Spill "one of Idaho's three greatest exports." But he's said it many many times. And I tend to agree with him. The other two great exports? Potatoes (duh) and Emron himself. Although I hear sugar beets are gaining on those famous potatoes.)

It has been close to six years since I've seen Built to Spill. I never braved the Portland crowds to see them in at the Crystal Ballroom during their two/three night residencies there (the Northwest loves them some Built to Spill). I figured the best way to reacquaint myself with Doug Martsch and crew was to head to the Depot with the same crew that accompanied me on the last BTS trek (a pre-Ancient Melodies show at the mercifully closed DV8). So, aforementioned Emron, Kyality and I made to the Depot just in time for the opening act.

First things first, the Depot is amazing. It's brand new and the nicest club-style venue in Utah. Maybe the nicest club-style venue within a few states. The sound is amazing. The bathrooms are humongous. The air conditioning works. And there's really not a bad spot in the place. You can sit at a table. Stand against a pillar. Wander upstairs to the balcony/mezzanine. Or just plant yourself 20 feet from the stage and soak up every note. It could be the most comfortable concert experience I've had that didn't involve a hillside and a blanket.

I'll spare you the long-winded review and sum things up quickly. Built to Spill packs a punch. If you haven't seen them live, you probably ought to take the plunge. It's a tough experience to explain. The guitar work is pure madness and the time changes have the rhythm section earning their dollars. And Doug's voice, even though it was completely shot and caused him to mumble, "Some of these songs are going to be more instrumental than usual," Doug's voice is a little breath of levity in the midst of the guitar virtuosity. My attempt is failing. I knew it would. There's nothing I can write to describe the excitement of a Built to Spill show. So I'm giving up. Just know that it was amazing. I loved it. Even if I forgot my camera and had to settle for a pile of bad camera phone images like this one:

And maybe this strangely high-quality video will express a bit of what I couldn't:

Doug is the fellow on the far right who looks like your seventh-grade band teacher.


Dainon said...

You posted on my bday without making a mention of it. Jerk.

The Carrie Collection said...

Oh hey. I saw your comment on Dainon's blog and decided to cyberstalk you for a few minutes. I had to mention my deep love for Built to Spill ever since I saw them in LA back in '01. Please tell me the lead singer was wearing his Stihl chainsaw hat with fresh oil smeared all over.