Spiritualized - Granada Theater - 5/15/12
Jason Pierce of Spiritualized
Tuesday, May 15
Life is particularly becoming on Jason Pierce. When Spiritualized took the stage shortly before 9 p.m. at the Granada Theater, Pierce and his two-member gospel "choir" were clothed in pure white, while the rest of the band wore black. Looking remarkably fit and without so much as a glance at the audience from behind his signature wrap-around shades, Pierce launched into a searing version of "Hey Jane," the "single" off new album Sweet Heart Sweet Light.
Like an extremely well-tuned machine, the band locked into signature songs from across the Spiritualized catalog for the next two hours with virtually no pause. Guitarist Tony "Doggen" Foster pulled riffs from what is apparently a bottomless well, layered on top of Pierce's own subtle rhythms.The singers swayed and lent their voices to the band's signature shoegaze gospel, Pierce locked onto his mates across the stage.
At times the music was as lucid and affecting as Sigur Rós or Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd. People in the audience were moved to tears. At other times, it drifted into a deafening chaos that rivaled My Bloody Valentine's joy for white noise, stopping on a note to resume structure. Every song seemed epic.
Many crowd favorites came from 1997's landmark Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, though the musicians made no attempt to pander to, or even acknowledge, the audience. Aside from the choir, all visual stimulation was provided by the lighting and a video track that simulated a drift through the cosmos.
The set finished at 10:30 p.m., at which point Pierce finally acknowledged the audience. As the group exited the stage, the audience immediately began the call for an encore, eventually taking up a synchronized stomp that went on for several minutes. They finally emerged and played Sweet Heart Sweet Light's closer, "So Long You Pretty Thing," before launching into a searing, truly epic rendering of "Cop Shoot Cop."
By the way: Opening the evening was emerging country ingénue Nikki Lane. Accompanied by local steel guitarist Danny Crelin (Eleven Hundred Springs), Lane was an interesting choice, and has been championed by Pierce. With a voice that conjured the classic old-school country of Tammy and Loretta, Lane's songs were about being done wrong, sung so right.