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Home » Built to Spill » Built to Spill | Live at Granada Theater | Dallas, TX | April 6, 2023

Built to Spill | Live at Granada Theater | Dallas, TX | April 6, 2023

Built to Spill Live in Dallas

I’ve covered Built to Spill quite a bit of late here on FensePost as I’ve started working through reviewing and even unboxing everything in my collection. As I have most albums by Built to Spill and quite a few of their singles as well, that coverage will continue for some time. But today I’m going to stray from my normal vinyl coverage to document their live performance last night at Granada Theater in Dallas.

Not only does Built to Spill have their own section in my LP and singles collections, I consider them to be one of my formative bands, having inspired my music tastes in the mid to late 90s with their LPs Perfect From Now On and Keep it Like a Secret. In fact, an original pressing of the latter was my first ever vinyl purchase upon its release in 1999!

However, until last night, I had never experienced the band live.

Granada Theater 2023 Built to Spill
Built to Spill at Granada Theater 2023
Granada Theater 2023 Sound Booth

All photos copyright 2023, Andy Fenstermaker & FensePost.

Opening Act: Oruã

Arriving at the venue a few minutes after the show began at 8pm allowed us to catch the final few tracks by Oruã from Brazil. The band is no stranger to Built to Spill, as they toured with the band in 2019. In fact, as lead singer Lê Almeida is quoted in Boise Weekly about the band’s 2021 LP Íngreme:

“I started recording this album in 2019, the year my life took a giant turn. I was on a huge tour playing drums with Built to Spill, a band that I’ve spent a good part of my life listening to a lot and in no kind of dream would I have imagined being a part of,” said Almeida in a press release. “In the middle of the tour with BTS I was putting together a series of recordings, things that gave us paths…”

“The lyrics for the most part deal with, reflect and propose thinking about some differences … social and racial,” said Almeida. “Some with a view from different perspectives and a better world, and some with wilder ones, almost curses or prayers, in general it’s for morale to raise.”

Brazilian Band Oruã Drops New Album ‘Íngreme’ [Boise Weekly, Nov. 4, 2021]
Orua Live in Dallas 2023

The band has a cool, psychedelic edge to the music they create that is entirely up my alley, and I’m excited to dig into their new album over the next week. Here’s “Essência Bruta” off Íngreme, which appears to only be available on cassette at this time.

You can find a number of the band’s releases on the Transfusão Noise Records bandcamp page.

One of the track we caught was “Volte Consciente” and you can hear them perform it live on KEXP

Built to Spill Live in Dallas, 2023

I’m going to start by saying that Built to Spill was absolutely amazing!

But, then again, Doug Martsch has been performing live for essentially 40 years now, mostly with Built to Spill, but dating back to The Halo Benders, Treepeople, and even his first band Farm Days before those. He’s mastered the performance, and it showed last night.

Built to Spill Live in Dallas 2023

And, as you’d hope for from a band with albums spanning 4 decades now, their setlist was quite well rounded. Opening with a new favorite off Built to Spill’s 2022 Sub Pop LP When The Wind Forgets Your Name, they made a splash with “Fool’s Gold,” which they followed with a cover of Daniel Johnston‘s “Bloody Rainbow.”

Here’s the spectacular video for “Fool’s Gold”

From the new one, they also gave us “Gonna Lose,” “Rocksteady,” and “Spider Web.” I would have loved to see “Alright” and “Comes A Day” but they more than made up for it by playing some longtime favorites of mine off Keep it Like a Secret and Perfect From Now On.

As I mentioned, the show was amazing, but there were definitely some standouts.

I damn near got emotional when “Else” off Keep it Like a Secret began, tucked comfortably in the middle of their setlist. A bit slower and more emotive, the track has always been a favorite and dear to my heart. But hearing “Stop the Show” live was the highlight for me.

It was pretty true to the studio rendition off 1997’s Perfect From Now On: The track started with a slow, mellow guitar riff that, after about two minutes, gradually built in intensity. When Martsch’s vocals finally entered, the song kind of explodes into a second movement yet the vocal delivery is dished out in an almost casual, conversational tone.

The band concluded their set with “Virginia Reel Around the Fountain,” which, as Built to Spill, can only be found on their long out of print Live LP from 2000–the song was originally released on The Halo Benders‘ 1998 LP The Rebels Not In.

In nearly every Built to Spill album, there tends to be a big, almost anthemic track, typically (but not always) an album closer. On Perfect From Now On it was “Untrustable / Part 2 (About Someone Else),” but most tracks fit the bill. On There is No Enemy, it was the second to last track “Things Fall Apart” and on You in Reverse it was album opener “Goin’ Against Your Mind.”

So, it was only fitting the band pulled one of these for their Encore, and I was pleasantly surprised that they selected “Broken Chairs,” the final track off 1999’s Perfect From Now On.

Built to Spill will always be among my favorite bands, and I won’t be surprised if a few of their albums make my year-end lists for my top Spotify artists and my most spun records of 2023. And now, I can finally say I’ve seen them live.

Please come back soon.

There have been a number of reissues recently of earlier Built to Spill albums, including Keep it Like a Secret and Ancient Melodies of the Future. You can find a number of them at pretty decent prices on Amazon.

Here’s the setlist from Built to Spill live at Granada Theater in Dallas, TX on April 6, 2023:

hand-picked vinyl recommendations

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