SPOON - Photo by itsonlymusicbutlive

SPOON – Photo by itsonlymusicbutlive

As an eminent authority in the fields of science, Dr. Passion is an overly occupied person. Mostly known for often weird and confrontational studies on social behavior and humanity; gonzo versions of critical theory on society. Adorno, Foucault, Alfred E. Neumann: you name the influence. So we were very lucky do meet up at the SPOON show in Berlin; this light-weathered monday evening in early June.

SPOON indisputably are a prime example of an sophisticated-indie-rock act. For an event like a SPOON concert, certain gestures of discursive preparation are implicit. Easy-to-adapt-codes of the hip do not apply here’, the doctor lectures in front of the not yet crowded venue, sipping chilled coconut milk, smoking slim-papered cigarettes. Yin and Yang. ‘You could go see the band TEMPLES play nearby if you wanna make a simple choice. This retro-psychedelia relies on shallow adaptation’, Passion mildly jokes.

While opener TOGETHER PANGEA play a gripping and energetic grunge infused rock-set, most parts of the calmly approaching audience have already arrived. The method of participant observation is where Passion feels most comfortable at. It’s an expression of great enthusiasm – of hate, love or anger and the ability to slide into objective perspective at the same time. ‘Today, especially in Berlin, it’s very hard to pull off a thing like wearing a funny-shirt at a concert. The city drowns in judgmental psychosis. But here, it’s ok. Most of the people here are male and over 35. It serves our methods of research quite well. You see? They don’t care about that anymore. So for today I chose the line: Kiss me hard before you go… / to prove the theory.’

Passion can mostly be found waiting at the Bar, like the hunter scouting on a raised hide: placing orders at its pray. SPOON open their set with a hit from the album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. They seem to need some time feeling fine for a start, sly and discreet, playing the routine, very well knowing, that irresistible melodies of songs like Don’t you Evah or Small Stakes prove self-reliance if they’re executed precise enough.

‘I was sort of a camp follower for people like Hunter S. Thompson and Michael Richards from Seinfeld. Dusted off their rifles etc. and today, I have my own assistant. It kind of feels natural to me. I call her Karin. Referring to a song by the band THE NATIONAL from New York. She loves that other band, INTERPOL, so it’s hilarious. Part of my work is analyzing pictures of the events and occasions I participate. Today I told her to take what I call: sexy-shots. They’ll probably serve to oversee the audiences wide range and allow to summon the average.’

SPOON meanwhile play The Fitted Shirt from their third long-player Girls Can Tell. The Ghost of you Lingers and The Beast and Dragon, Adored; which changes singer Britt Daniel into BOWIE, playing an american college-rock song and somewhat soaking it with british sophistication. The show is beautifully assembled: cinematic, on haul. Whereas the band started in modest mode, they are now, about half way through their set, playing I turn my Camera on: on top and surfing the audience waiting do ride it home with furious Jonathan Fisk and Black like Me.

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Passion’s assistant returns with photos she printed out during the four (!) song encore (cresting into The Underdog, excessive ovation, chant-along and humming crowd). Supposedly the sexy-shots arrived: ‘These two specific examples are perfect!’ – Passion is an enthusiastic figure, always awake, proximate, hard to come by. ‘The first one shows a male crowd-member. I occupied a group of men he hang around with. They took over this sort of DJ-booth, theatre-box space at the right, all the same age, having fun. Beer and enjoying the songs. Making little jokes. Mostly within their formed collective of peers, if not, then focussing on younger girls passing by or standing around. They probably all own a great ROCK-collection on vinyl. But that’s only a guess, metaphoric, not significant.’

‘This second photo here, in contrast and comparison, explains this events average social-structure you could observe all night, as well as their probable behavior after the gig. I talk about the center of the picture, not the highlighted part in front. A young girl’s legs. You see: It’s the diametric object. The Conversion. The dark side of the moon, if I may speak in your terms. And while we’re at it: My assistant wore this other shirt saying: splish splash, i was taking a bath… What do you think was the better pick up line, platonically?’

A few of you might wonder now and ask: ‘Who is this mysterious Dr. Passion you write about?’ Well, it’s difficult to say. Maybe it’s best to ask our author Henrik directly since he might run into Dr. Passion again soon.
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