Britt Daniel is one of us.? Yeah sure, he’s the front man for Spoon and that makes him nothing like us on a certain level.? But seeing him kick around Portland at shows, whether it’s checking out White Rabbits or Los Compesinos!, I get the impression he’s one of us.
Wearing jeans, red chucks and t-shirts he blends in more than most of the crazy fashionistas here, except it’s Britt Daniel and he stands out because of who he is.? Still, I get the sense that Britt Daniel was the most popular guy in high school.? Not in that captain of the football team kind of way, but the kind of guy who floats between cliques, excels at everything, is loved by cheerleaders, teachers and moms alike.? He’s that guy.
And we’re all the better for it.? Nowhere were these traits on display more than during his solo set at Wonder Ballroom for MusicFest Northwest.? He was charismatic and coy, often laughing at his mistakes and having fun.? He came on the stage with a simple “thanks for coming to my show” (as if noone would show up?) before blasting into “The Beast and the Dragon, Adored.”
His set was rife with material from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Gimme Fiction and Kill the Moonlight. But the highlights were the three new songs he debuted.? One was “Writing to You in Reverse,” a song Spoon played at Pitchfork Music Fest that’s been kicking around; the second had no name but it was an aggressive uptempo number in the vein of their Telephono days.? You could almost here the Pixies influence in the tune’s rawness.? Unfortunately, I didn’t get great video of the song; a shame because it was the best of the three.? Finally, he played “Who Backs Your Money?”
But over the course of the hour that he played there is no doubt that Britt Daniel is one of the biggest rock stars we have, even if he refuses to act like it.? His mini-set with Quasi/Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss was one of the highlights of the entire music fest, just an awesome surprise.
He left the stage with an even simpler slight wave of the hand and “goodbye.”? In five years I doubt I’ll remember most of the music I caught this week, but Britt Daniel solo isn’t one of them.
More videos from the set after the jump.?
Photo: Dave Allen (who also has some great behind the scenes video of Britt and Janet)