It's been too long since Spoon has played Dallas, but tonight, they return to the Granada for a sold-out show. Keyboardist Eric Harvey lives here and you might have seen him at shows as big as Wilco at Fair Park Music Hall or as small as the final Annex House show.
Harvey recently put out an excellent solo record, Lake Disappointment, and took time out to share his first show experiences as a fan and musician. What was the first show you remember seeing? Were you with your parents? The first show I remember seeing was at the Monroe County Zoo in Rochester, New York, where I grew up. There was a country band playing to some people on a hill, and I remember walking down to the front and dancing. We still have some pictures of it. The band was in full '70s Western regalia, using all Peavey gear, and I had a haircut like the kid from Eight is Enough. I was maybe three or four, so I was definitely with my parents.
What was the first show you paid to see? The first show I remember paying to see was U2 at Silver Stadium on the Joshua Tree tour. I was 13. Bono had injured himself earlier in the tour and his arm was in a sling. I remember buying my ticket at a Ticketmaster counter at the back of a local record store. The ticket cost around $15, which was a lot of money. Most of the shows I saw at that time were $5 hardcore matinees and whatever all-ages shows I could get into. I was really into local bands from the time I started seeing live music. I felt more like I was a part of something at those shows. Seeing U2 made me want to be in a band, but those punk shows inspired me to actually start one.
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So far, what's the worst show you've seen? The worst show I ever saw was also one of the best. The band was called Shadow Church, and they sounded like Tenacious D, but were totally sincere and not trying to be ironically funny at all. I kept their set list. They had a song called "Prostitute Funeral" but they misspelled prostitute, which made it even funnier. I actually e-mailed the band and they later responded to tell me they had broken up and were dedicating their lives to Christ. No joke.
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What do you remember about the first show you played with Spoon? My first show with Spoon was in Norman, Oklahoma, at Opolis in 2004. I remember driving up in the van and seeing a line of people out front and thinking I was about to play the biggest show of my life, to a few hundred people. I'd never been part of a headlining act before.The Starlight Mints had their studio in the building and I remember practicing a little before the show. I misprogrammed my keyboard and the Mellotron solo in "Everything Hits At Once" was about three octaves too high. Britt diffused the situation by joking around and banging on the keys with his foot. Some kids asked me for an autograph after the show. Signing a copy of Kill the Moonlight before I'd ever recorded anything with the group felt a little weird.
Lastly, what do you remember about your first solo show? My first solo show was at the Seely Hill Bash in Ithaca NY in the summer of 2000. Some musician friends of mine lived in this old house that was part of the original Stonyfield yogurt factory. They had a bunch of land where they would put on this three-day backyard barbecue/music festival every year. You could watch people floating around out in the pond while you were up on stage playing. It was a truly special event. Sadly, the house burned down a few years back and they never rebuilt it.