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Spoon serve ’em up strong and steady in Asbury Park

Texas-bred band wastes little time between songs during first show of tour with Interpol.
Spoon, led by singer-guitarist Britt Daniel (left), kept between-song banter to a minimum Aug. 25 at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris M. Junior)

Spoon, led by singer-guitarist Britt Daniel (left), kept between-song banter to a minimum Aug. 25 at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris M. Junior)

The lyrics to the 2014 Spoon song “Inside Out” may very well be about a distortion of time when there’s intense gravity, as band leader Britt Daniel explained to Rolling Stone a few years ago.

But the song’s opening line — “Time’s gone inside out” — became a good way to sum up an exceptional section of Spoon’s Aug. 25 set in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the first stop of the Lights, Camera, Factions Tour with Interpol.

In the second half of their set, Daniel and his bandmates performed “Inside Out,” followed by fellow fan favorites “I Turn My Camera On,” “Don’t You Evah” and “Do You,” with no silence or downtime in between those songs. Along the way, however, they devoted plenty of time to playing extended instrumental intros for “Camera” and “Evah.”

While not revolutionary by any means, this slightly different way of navigating a set list fits the Spoon ethos. Since emerging from Austin, Texas, in the mid-1990s and on through several lineup changes (with Daniel and drummer Jim Eno as mainstays), Spoon have been known to bob and weave, making music that’s interesting and inventive yet also intimate, lean but also textured, with slight twists and ­detours always in play.

By also keeping between-song banter to a minimum throughout their Stone Pony Summer Stage show, Spoon were able to pack in a lot of material into an hour-plus.

The band’s excellent new album, Lucifer on the Sofa, was represented on this night by set opener “Held,” along with “Wild,” “My Babe” and “The Hardest Cut” (unfortunately, no “The Devil & Mister Jones”). A cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation,” which Spoon performed a little more than three years ago at their last big outdoor shows in New Jersey, was a standout as well, along with “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” and “The Way We Get By.”

Sometimes a concert can magnify a band’s strengths in ways that repeated listens of studio albums might not, and two things rose above on this night: Eno is an exceptional drummer, his grooves and fills just as important and identifiable as anything else in the Spoon catalog, and Daniel can really work his voice around quieter material.

Upcoming U.S. stops for Spoon and Interpol on the Lights, Camera, Factions Tour include Cincinnati (Sept. 1), Pittsburgh (Sept. 6), St. Louis (Sept. 9), Las Vegas (Sept. 13) and Seattle (Sept. 16).

Spoon singer Britt Daniel performs Aug. 25 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris M. Junior)

Spoon singer Britt Daniel performs Aug. 25 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris M. Junior)