Built to Spill marked their second consecutive year performing at the Music Farm on October 29, 2013, with opening acts Genders and Slam Dunk. Built to Spill replicated their textured studio sounds with their knack for layering guitars on top of another to create the complex sound of their jangled guitar pop. I enjoyed this concert slightly more than last year’s, not because the band sounded less perfect last year, but because I knew more of their songs and the group played more songs from my two favorite albums, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love and Perfect From Now On. The encore provided a wonderful climax to the show, with lead singer/guitarist Doug Martsch providing a hilarious Morrissey impersonation during the band’s rendition of The Smith’s “How Soon is Now” and ending with not only my favorite Built to Spill song, but also my favorite song of the 90’s, Car.
One of the things I found interesting about this concert compared to their concert in 2012 was how much smaller the crowd was. Last year the crowd was packed, rendering anyone at the show essentially immobile, as opposed to how you could make your way from the back of the crowd to almost the front of it without too much effort. Looking at Mccarthy’s four P’s of marketing mix, at least three of the P’s were surely consistent with last year’s production: the price ($20) was the same, the product was still Built to Spill, and the venue was the same (Music Farm). Because I am not familiar with the ins and outs of Music Farm’s specific promotional strategy of the show this year, I cannot say this was the flaw in marketing the show, but I did notice that neither the Post & Courier nor Charleston City Paper included the same brief description of the band that was included with last year’s concert. The event date’s proximity to Halloween might have played a factor in the smaller crowd, as Charleston tends to take “Halloweekend” fairly seriously. If you’re a fan of bands that play with more than two guitars on stage or a fan of the lighter side of 90’s rock, I would definitely recommend seeing these guys if they ever come back through Charleston. Doug Martsch is my personal favorite guitarist and creates an absolute spectacle live.