On a slightly warm but otherwise lovely night, the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in Columbus played host to four entertaining acts. The show was in celebration of CD101 — Columbus’ locally owned and operated station, free from the evil clutches of Clear Channel — reaching 20 years on the air. Since the station is one of the biggest supporters of indie music around, they booked three marquee bands for the occasion. First to go on for the night, though, was Karate Coyote, a local outfit that won a fan vote to be the opening act. What followed their set was a night of impressive performances from The Cribs, Matt & Kim and headliner Spoon.
The Cribs were energetic on stage, and played several selections from their excellent LP Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever while jumping around, bouncing from microphone to microphone and generally rocking out. The four-piece from West Yorkshire, England had attitude to spare, but not in a snarky way. Their set was loud in all the right places, and catchy as well. I must say, Johnny Marr is a fantastic guitarist. He might have been the most impressive of the three ax-wielders on stage.
The energy level was ramped up by about a thousand times once Brooklyn husband-and-wife duo Matt & Kim took to the stage. Matt cajoled the crowd at the LC from the very beginning, and all of us were drawn in by the band’s keyboard-and-drums dance-pop fare. Kim plays the drums, and she’s a real badass on those skins. At one point, she broke her snare drum and had to have it repaired by a stagehand. But not even that could derail the band’s momentum. They played covers of Biz Markie and several other well-known pop songs, many times as introductions to or interludes during their own strong material.
The two songs that got the pit at the LC going the most were “Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare” — which came in the middle of the set — and the mega-indie hit “Daylight,” which was CD101’s “Best Song of 2009” and closed out Matt & Kim’s set. For two people playing nothing but the keyboard and drums, the couple blew it out, much to the delight of a receptive crowd. I was thoroughly entertained throughout their set, particularly when they tossed balloons to the crowd and turned the pit into an all-out party. Matt & Kim might have been the most impressive of the acts on Monday, and I really want to see them when they return to Columbus on September 17.
Spoon‘s set was really masterful. Britt Daniel and co. started things off slow, but motored through just about everything I wanted to hear them play. The band played all but two songs from 2008 masterpiece Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and songs like “The Underdog” — with its wonderful brass band accompaniment — and “Rhythm & Soul” sounded wonderful.
Transference was well-represented too. “Goodnight Laura” and “Is Love Forever” sounded great, and “Written In Reverse” was full of energy and Daniel’s unique sweet-but-raspy singing. I particularly enjoyed set-opening “Mystery Zone,” and loved that the band started its encore with Gimme Fiction‘s “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine” and closed it out with “The Way We Get By,” one of my all-time favorite Spoon songs.
All in all, it was a night to remember. All three bands brought the thunder, and none of them disappointed.