Inside Spoon’s Cover Band-Crashing Surprise Set
Spoon played Portland, Maine’s State Theatre on Friday night, but the band continued to play well into the night when they dropped in on a band playing a Spoon covers set.
Local psychedelic rock band Jeff Beam’s Loudspeaker Wallpaper booked an after-show party down the street from the Spoon gig at Portland’s Empire club, where Beam and Co. played 2001’s Girls Can Tell and 2002’s Kill the Moonlight in their entireties. “We wanted to do them justice, since they were coming to Maine for the first time,” Beam tells Rolling Stone.
Beam and his band made sure to plaster flyers near the Spoon show, hoping the band might spot one. Then, during “Small Stakes,” the opening number of their second set, Beam spotted frontman Britt Daniel standing among the crowd of about 50 people. “The song was getting intense and Britt walked up to the middle of the room, looking right at me with a drink in his hand and we locked eyes,” Beam says. “It was a very surreal moment. He was filming us playing his songs. It was too much.”
The band stayed to watch the local group play all of Kill the Moonlight, and afterwards Daniel hugged Beam. “Thank you Jeffrey, that was insane. Holy shit,” Daniel said onstage. Then Beam’s band – Beam (vocals, guitar), Sam Peisner (bass), Sean Morin (keyboard, vocals), Scott Nebel (guitar), and Jacob Wolk (drums) – gladly handed over their instruments to the band.
“Britt asked me, ‘So what do you want us to play, man?,'” Beam says. After he suggested a few deep cuts the band didn’t feel comfortable tackling, he asked Daniel, “If you can play anything you didn’t play earlier at the State Theatre tonight, that would be wild.” The band launched into the rarely played “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine” followed by Kill the Moonlight cut “Jonathon Fisk.” “It showed how flexible they were that great musicians can make something cool happen in any situation,” says Beam.
Spoon – “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine” & “Jonathon Fisk”
“It was mind-blowing,” says Wallpaper bassist Sam Peisner. “This was about as rare and special a moment we’ve had in the Portland music scene. I know we’ll be feeling the reverberations of this for a while.”
Beam says one of the best moments was watching Daniel tuning and playing his old pawn-shop Stratocaster, which an ex-girlfriend painted psychedelic artwork onto. “It was so weird watching Britt Daniel play my guitar,” he says. “At one point he held it up, and there’s a little still of him holding it, and it says BEAM on the back of the guitar.”
For Beam, it was an early Father’s Day celebration, too: “The best part of the night for me was my dad was there, and Britt and my dad got to hang out for for five or 10 minutes and shoot the shit. The whole night felt like a gift from the universe or something. It was really bizarre that it all happened and everybody that was there had a pretty good time. ”
After Spoon’s quick set, the cover band and the real band got to spend some time together at the bar, with Daniel buying Beam’s group a round of drinks. “They had to leave for Delaware and he kept pushing it back and trying to hang out with us longer,” Beam recalls. “It’s one of those things that only happens in a movie or a dream. But Spoon is one of the only bands that would make it happen in real life.”
Jeff Beam’s Loudspeaker Wallpaper – “Vittorio E.”
Jeff Beam’s Loudspeaker Wallpaper – “Something to Look Forward To”