Built To Spill @ The SIREN Festival

btsBuilt To Spill took the stage at 7:40pm on the West 10th Street main stage at the 9th annual SIREN Music Festival on Saturday and played a mind-blowing set that even the indie snobs could not complain about.  The free, all ages festival featured performances throughout the day on two outdoor stages in Coney Island.  The 10th Street Stage was right next to the world famous Cyclone, and it swirled over the heads of the crowd as Doug Martsch and company played for 90+ minutes.

The band opened with “Liar” and tore through their expansive catalog.  The last time I saw BTS they played Perfect From Now On from start to finish. Tt was a treat to hear classic tracks such as “Strange” and “Distopian Dream Girl” this time around.  Aside from some technical difficulties, the overall sound was excellent for a festival. BTS did have its share of guitar/sound problems, especially during “Goin’ Against Your Mind.” That performance was marred by Martsch’s  equipment failures to a point where the band almost stopped playing two minutes into the song.

Once they worked out their technical issues the band tore through a full set that had the crowd hanging from every surface available to catch a glimpse of the performance.  West 10th was packed all the way to Surf Avenue, and many chose to watch from the perimeter, which was lined with barbed wire fences and wooden barriers.  The band said little other than asking the audience to be patient as they focused on just playing the best they could instead of putting on some form of entertainment, sideshow banter.  As the sun set, the band closed their set with a inspiring and literally explosive performance of “Carry the Zero” with fireworks erupting in the sky behind the famous Wonder Wheel.

img_1106BTS are currently mixing the group’s seventh record titled There Is No Enemy in L.A.  The record is rumored to drop in early October. The always dismissive Martsch was recently asked about their new record and explained that there isn’t a need to rush and finish the record because “there are plenty of Built to Spill records– no one is in a hurry to hear something new.”  This is the same man that said their near flawless 2000 record Live “was not very good” as he promoted the album.  However, based on the adoring crowd that hung on barb wire fences, dodged the spinning rides more than 50 years old and watched from blocks away just to get a view of Martsch and company, there are plenty of fans awaiting the follow up to 2006’s You In Reverse.

Built to Spill will be back in NYC during the month of their new album release to play for more shows. Tickets will go on sale this Thursday. All tour dates and set list below:

2009 Tour Dates
Jul 25 – Capitol Hill Block Party Seattle, Washington
Aug 20 – Edge Field Troutdale, Oregon
Aug 23 – Sunset Junction Los Angeles, California
Aug 24 – The Casbah San Diego, California
Aug 25 – Galaxy Concert Theatre Santa Ana, California
Aug 26 – Belly UP Tavern Solana Beach, California
Aug 28 – Polo Field at Golden Gate Park San Francisco, California
Oct 12 – Webster Hall, NY, NY
Oct 13 – Webster Hall, NY, NY
Oct 14 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Oct 15 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

SIREN Set List:

Temporarily Blind
You Were Wrong
Goin’ Against Your Mind
Virginia Reel Around The Fountain
Distopian Dream Girl
In Your Mind
Conventional Wisdom
Big Dipper
Carry The Zero

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