Onstage in front of a packed audience at the Grog Shop last night, fully bearded Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch didn’t act like a guy who’s been making music business for more than 15 years. His interaction with the audience was limited to a Michael Moore reference, which came halfway through his band's set and was met with both blank stares and confused looks. Martsch took the hint (play music, dude!) and launched into the next song, saving his politics for another gig.
The band's new album, There Is No Enemy, comes out tomorrow, but that's not what the crowd came to hear. It was older tunes like “The Plan” and “Else” that got fans throwing up horns, dancing '90s style and elbowing each other throughout the stuffed venue.
The indie hipsters in the audience didn’t seem to mind the lack of actual performance behind the music or even the extra-long instrumental endings that capped nearly every song. For longtime fans, this was nothing new. But for newbies, it came off like listening to a Built to Spill CD on repeat all night long. —Crystal Pirri