Built to Spill/Chikita Violenta
Sunday, August 29th, 2010
Headliners Music Hall
Better than: getting a second chance at life.
Back when I was introduced to Built to Spill, it never occurred to me that I would ever have the chance to see these rock heroes in person. All hope was lost when they arrived in Louisville two years ago with the Arizona cow-punks of Meat Puppets, scheduling an 18+ show, and I'm pretty sure the same thing happened again the next year. It's been a really frustrating effort on my part, but I finally got my night. I shook the hand of Doug Martsch and felt my face brighten like Christmas morning. It was like he transferred all of the evening's energy from his palm to mine.
Now that I am 18 and can legally have access to more shows, it makes me so much more grateful to have venues like Headliners who have played as a temporary hutch to so many fantastic acts. There wouldn't be opportunities like this without it. When hosting such a broad array of genres, performances and artists, there really isn't a better place to be when you want to see an amazing show. Of course, this night's lineup was no different. Although I have a tendency to be late upon my arrivals, I have always cut it close enough to catch the headlining act. This is, after all, the reason I am forking over twenty dollars. So even if I did miss Chikita Violenta's set, I still feel like I received well worth what I paid to attend.
With "The Plan," Built to Spill opened up the set in a burst of excitement. Any song from Keep it Like a Secret had a tendency to energize the crowd more than the rest, I noticed. Several shouts for "Broken Chairs" and "Carry the Zero" were commonly heard during in-between song tune-ups, but most of these requests weren't honored until our well deserved encore. Throughout the set, the band made it a point to explore their catalog without totally voiding their new material as well, honoring an oldie like "Three Years Ago Today" and fairly new tunes such as "Things Fall Apart," jamming it out when necessary. The new material translated well live, but it didn't seem to have as much kick as the kind of jams they've been playing for years. Midway through after pounding out "Sidewalk," Doug took a moment to tussle his head with a towel, already dripping with sweat. With his hair sticking out like a clown and a quick survey of the crowd, he announced "this is when the show really begins." And the magic erupted there.
Like the heroes of their era, it's not long before it will be time for Built to Spill to hang their hats for good. I would advise anyone to check out the remainder of their tour and try to make it to a show. Although it seems like they aren't finished for good, it's hard to say what the future will bring for this band. Maybe it could be for the best; Doug can still continue will solo work, or he could even go totally wild and bring back Treepeople. Time has been good to Built to Spill, but let's hope it doesn't spoil them either. It is a much too precious legacy to tarnish.