Dear Spoon, Thanks For Playing “Metal Detektor” Last Night. Love, Kelly.
Spoon played two shows in Brooklyn this week, so we sent Stereogum Spoon correspondent and former Videogum editor Kelly Conaboy to report on her favorite band.
Near the end of last night’s Spoon concert at Brooklyn’s the Wick, a young woman tapped me on the shoulder. “What was the old song they just played?” she asked. “I thought maybe ‘Car Radio’?” No, I told her. The song wasn’t “Car Radio,” a great song from the band’s 1998 release A Series Of Sneaks. It was “Metal Detektor,” the best song from the band’s 1998 release A Series Of Sneaks and, in fact, the best song they have ever written. Spoon’s best song: “Metal Detektor.” A song they pretty much never play, as far as I know: “Metal Detektor.” My favorite song of all time: “Metal Detektor.” I can’t believe it. She can’t believe it. “Metal Detektor”!
How did she know that I would know the answer? It was a guess based on my chill demeanor, I can only assume.
The song came during the first encore of Spoon’s second set in Brooklyn this week. The night before they stopped by the beautiful, newly renovated Kings Theatre in Flatbush and played to a large crowd made up of, from what I could tell, 80% professionals coming from work and 20% children with their parents. Did the children drag their parents, or did the parents drag their children? A mystery. Maybe the whole family likes Spoon and no one had to drag anyone. (This option would make the most sense, as Spoon are the best band.)
For each night, Spoon stuck to more or less the same setlist, save for “Metal Detektor,” which we will revisit shortly. It looked something like this: a bunch of They Want My Soul, a lot of Gimme Fiction, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga mainly in the encores, and then some other stuff here and there. A satisfying setlist, even when you take into consideration the fact that some people saw it two nights in a row.
(“Could there be an unsatisfying Spoon setlist?” you might be wondering. A good question, and the answer is yes. An all-Telephono setlist would not be particularly satisfying. You should have thought of an all-Telephono setlist before you asked.)
The main distinction between the two nights, save for “Metal Detektor,” was: Britt Daniel dressed up in a vest for the second night. Also: the venues. Kings Theatre is large and beautiful; the Wick is small and made to look somewhat industrial. Kings Theatre is maybe not the place you want to see Spoon necessarily because, personally, you like to be very close, but it sounded great and it was nice to have a seat; the Wick is not a place you’d expect to see Spoon at this point in their career and, for that reason, a very exciting place to catch them. Kings Theatre full of adults and children, like I mentioned; The Wick full of disheveled young men with girls who are too cute for them. It speaks to Spoon’s current standing as “best band” that they fit in effortlessly at each.
“Of course this band would play in a gold movie theater,” you could have thought. “Of course this band would play in a fake warehouse.”
They are a perfect band.
I love them.
Neither the vest nor the venues, however, could compare to the true distinction between nights: “Metal Detektor.” You might be wondering, “Did Spoon play ‘Metal Detektor’ for you, specifically? For Kelly Conaboy alone?” Yes. Or — I believe the answer is yes.
I believe the answer is yes primarily because I asked Spoon to play “Metal Detektor” multiple times on Twitter earlier in the day:
It’s called The Secret, feel free to look it up.
I have no other evidence that Spoon added “Metal Detektor” to their setlist (at the last minute, it seems, from the looks of the setlist) for me alone, and I don’t need it.
I loved it!