Kind of Like Spitting – Denver – Double Entendre, CO – 2000-12-06

Kind of Like Spitting
Where: Denver – Double Entendre, CO.

When: 2000-12-06

If you know Kind of Like Spitting’s music, you likely realize that the band is primarily Oregon native Ben Barnett. On many of his releases, all you get is Barnett’s often-breaking, emotional voice accompanied by his acoustic guitar. Even the songs that incorporate drums and bass tend to take on a deep, slow-core kind of feel. Well, forget all that if you manage to see Kind of Like Spitting as a band in concert.

I was amazed at how the KoLS songs took on a new, more powerful and rocking feel. With most of the songs taken from the band’s most recent releases but a few older ones thrown in, the set consisted of melodic yet powerful electric guitar, thick bass lines, and powerful drumming, along with Barnett’s voice, which could go from a quiet and desperate plea to an all-out scream in no time. Barnett mentioned that some people call the band emo, which I would have laughed at if not hearing them live. On album, they’re nothing close to the definitive emo sound, but live, with screamed vocals, powerful, melodic guitar, and a much more up-tempo sound, the band was more similar to an emo band like Mineral than a more folksy pop/rock band like Bright Eyes.

This was the smallest crowd I’ve yet seen at this music shop, likely due to the fact that Kind of Like Spitting still isn’t one of those bands that everyone talks about, but I predict they’ll soon reach that status. The sound here is never very good, but this night it was impeccable. Even over the blaring guitar, bass, and drums, you could hear Barnett’s vocals perfectly. I think because of the thin crowd the trio were very loose and relaxed. They didn’t have a set list, instead discussing in between songs which ones they felt like playing. Unfortunately, the drummer was a new addition, so they couldn’t play requests.

Kind of Like Spitting didn’t play long, but the songs they did play were perfect. Fast and loud, they took on a whole different feel from their albums. It was like hearing completely new versions of your favorite songs. And with Barnett equally able to sing as to scream and belt out passionate, breaking vocals, these songs have a very emotional feel.

Just a quick note about the opener: Zach the Country Wonder. What a joke! I felt so sorry for this guy, playing an acoustic guitar and singing wise-ass country-style songs. With songs that centered around themes of knocking up the governor’s daughter to change his impression of abortion rights and hoping mountain lions eat the children of the people who commute from the mountains to Denver, he did get a laugh. But the songs didn’t rhyme, they all sounded the same (minus the Johnny Cash cover that wasn’t half bad), and I left halfway through to wait outside.