Saturday, April 12th, 1997
Crocodile Cafe, Seattle WA USA
|Get a Life|
|Stop the Show|
|Distopian Dream Girl|
|Carry the Zero|
|Lie for a Lie|
With Quasi and Violent Green.
Review by Adem Tepedelen from the Rocket, 4/23/97:
Packed to the ceiling inside, and with plenty of unfortunate stragglers outside offering $20 for tickets, this was one of the most highly-anticipated club shows of 1997. Whether or not Built to Spill delivered the goods is up for debate. According to all the preshow gossip from diehard BTS fans who had attended the two shows at RKCNDY and the Portland gig earlier in the week, the set was not varying a bit, even down to the extended version of "Lie for a Lie" the band closed with each night.
After much futzing around with guitars and plenty of cigarette smoking, guitarist/vocalist Doug Martsch, bassist Brett Nelson and drummer Scott Plouf finally launched into "Get a Life," from Ultimate Alternative Wavers, shortly after midnight. They quickly followed that with a new, unrecorded number which slightly stifled the enthusiasm generated by the upbeat opener. Before the evening was through, the band would introduce at least a half dozen new songs, pulling just a song or two from each of its full-length releases. The first single from Perfect From Now On, "Untrustable," came early in the set and was met with an enthusiastic response. A slower, BTS-version of the Treepeople's (Martsch's old band) "Handcuffs" was also a nice surprise (for those who hadn't seen the previous shows).
Martsch was definitely playing (and singing) his heart out, coaxing jangly chords and soaring guitar leads from his trademark red Stratocaster, and occasionally bouncing around with his eyes screwed tight. And for once he seems to have surrounded himself with a solid lineup--songs ended when they were supposed to, and the rhythm section fully filled in for the more complex arrangements Martsch utilizes on the band's albums. One moment of levity came toward the end of the set, when Martsch excused himself for a few minutes to go pee. Perhaps it was this pause that refreshed him into dragging out the closer, "Lie," for well over a half hour. Even Nelson's departure after 20 minutes didn't keep Martsch and Plouf from noodling/pounding away. Quasi (one of the opening bands) guitarist/vocalist Sam Coomes then relieved Martsch (who threatened, "We're going to play you guys out of here") of his guitar, and the flogging continued for another ten minutes, with people slowly filing out.
While the new material was a welcome surprise, the lack of old material--or even songs from the album the band is supposed to be supporting--was a disappointment. Built to Spill shows are always an adventure, and though they weren't terribly adventurous with their set list, the extended jam at the end will keep people talking for a long time.