Spiritualized in Toronto – A Review

May 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized)

A Spiritualized concert is not exactly a concert. It’s more of  an experience.

And the experience began about 8:50 on Saturday night, as dry ice began to creep across the stage. Twenty minutes later, Nikki Lane, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, took the stage of the Phoenix. Initially the singer, who hails from South Carolina, was greeted by polite indifference but throughout the course of her 30-minute set, applause and interest built for her country-folk performance.

And then the wait for the main event. It’s a funny thing that happens between sets. Initially the crowd waits. It goes to the bathroom or buys another drink. But after half an hour or so, the mood shifs. Any movement near the stage stirs the crowd as it tries to guess is this it? As a PA song ends, there’s a moment or two or silence and the crowd wonders again, is this it? There’s jockeying for position and then finally, the moment is here.

Spiritualized walked on stage at 10:15.The band wore black, but Jason Pierce and his back-up singers came dressed in white. Standing sideways to the crowd and hidden behind dark shades, J Spaceman immediately launched into “Hey Jane” the single from the just released Sweetheart Sweet Light.

And for the next 100 minutes, Spiritualized performed.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t catch a lot of the titles, as Spiritualized is notoriously for lifting bits of other songs and blending them. Since his days in Spacemen 3 Pierce has recycled from Dylan, Lou Reed, folk  country and gospel songs and even his own work (sometimes when I’m listening to those old Spacemen 3 albums, I forget which song is on).

But as I indicated earlier Spiritualized is an experience. Along with songs from the new album, the band seemed to draw most heavily from the 1997 masterpiece Ladies and Gentlemen We are Drifting in Space, playing  the title track, Come Together and Cop Shoot Cop as the encore.From all out rockers to lush ballads which worked even without the choir Pierce often employs to noisy mash-ups of sound, Spiritualized kept the audience entranced (no doubt chemical played some role as the smell of marijuana hung heavy in the packed club)

Against a swirling light show, Pierce stood impassive. It’s perhaps telling that his first words to the audience, “Thank you…thank you” were spoken at midnight as the band exited the stage.

Touchdown, touchdown.


Set (courtesy of Setlist.fm)

  1. Hey Jane
  2. Lord Let It Rain On Me
  3. Headin’ for the Top Now
  4. She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)
  5. Lay Back In The Sun
  6. Oh Baby
  7. Rated X
  8. I Am What I Am
  9. Born Never Asked
  10. Electric Mainline
  11. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  12. Mary
  13. Stay With Me
  14. So Long You Pretty Things
  15. Come Together
Cop Shoot Cop

1 Comment

  1. fischerzed said,

    In my review I noted Ladies and Gentlemen … was a prime source of older material. Amazing Grace was also a favourite.

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