The unassuming indie rock act from Boise, Idaho clearly prefers substance over style, rejecting the pomp and pizzazz that accompany so many live shows today. For many, this aloofness equates to lack of stage presence. But Built to Spill quickly assuaged skeptics with its spiraling solos and infectious, emotionally charged hooks.
The set ranged from familiar classics like “Center of the Universe” and “Carry the Zero” to material from last year’s critically acclaimed You in Reverse, including the hypnotically soothing sing-a-long “Liar.”
Martsch was stoic as ever, pausing only to utter thank you or to methodically wipe the sweat from his balding head. But his distinctive, pristine voice filled the space with echoes of Neil Young, yearning even to surpass the feedback-fueled guitar haze of his band.
Built to Spill’s relentlessly original craftsmanship may indeed be better suited to the studio than the stage, but for those interested in seeing how the elements of pop perfection coalesce, its show is more than worth your patience.