Photos By: Rachel Frank
By: Connor Cox
Built to Spill was formed in 1992. That was the year I was born, so as one can imagine my age group was not the main demographic at Sunday’s show. Instead there were folks who were likely hardcore fans as teenagers, reliving the 90s with their Valentine’s dates. The Boise-based, indie rock veterans sold out a two-night residency at the Casbah in San Diego in support of their latest release, Untethered Moon. Opening for them were Canadian folk duo, Iceberg Ferg and another Boise group called The Hand.
Dough Martsch is the brainchild behind Built to Spill and throughout the years, he has collaborated and toured with a fluctuating lineup of members. The current touring lineup is a trio that consists of Martsch, Jason Albertini on Bass and Steve Gere on drums. Despite only having three musicians on stage, it was a surprisingly technically performance. Around 11 PM the band walked on stage to soundcheck their equipment. With no greeting to the audience, Martsch scratched his head while reviewing the night’s setlist that was scribbled on a wrinkled sheet of notebook paper. After rearranging some of their personal items, the band blasted into “All Our Songs”. The entire setlist was predominantly new material that was unfamiliar to many fans. It didn’t seem to upset anyone, nor did it excite them, but I do think it disappointed Martsch. In between songs, audience members would shout the title of their favorite songs. He just zoned them out as he launched into other songs. One woman screamed “Happy Valentines day, Doug! You’re my valentine!” He still gave no reaction.
But aside from from his disengagement from the audience, Doug Martsch is an impressive frontman. To sing and play sophisticated guitar riffs that maintain layers of sound is incredibly difficult. It would have been awesome to hear more tracks from Keep it Like a Secret. After the show I decided to check out Untethered Moon and it’s certainly an album that will resonate with long-time fans.