Saturday, May 26, 2012

Photos & Videos: Spiritualized live, Wonder Ballroom, Portland, May 25, 2012

"Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose..."
"Here Today and then We're Gone...."
"Sometimes I wish that I was dead, cuz only the living can feel the pain..."
"Ain't Got Time to Make Mistakes, Ain't Got Time to Waste my Brakes..."
"All I Want in Life's a Little Bit of Love to Take the Pain Away..."

Is there anyone in indie music today that can say more with so little as Jason Pierce of Spiritualized?

Certainly he's the only person I listen to who could get away with the line "I got two little arms to hold on tight..." without laughter erupting.

He is a force of nature - even the drugs couldn't kill him, and he brought his brand of magic to Portland's Wonder Ballroom last night to a sold-out crowd of the faithful... it was a little disconcerting to see a sign on the venue door "Spiritualized SOLD OUT" but I think they really meant "Souled Out" cuz that's what we witnessed... Still, the sign on the door of the Wonder was nothing compared to the bold marquee on Radio City two years ago which boldly declared that New York City was "Spiritualized Tonight...", right across from Time AND Life...

Yes, all this talk of Jesus, drugs, despair, redemption, love lost & found (mostly lost)... would probably be intolerable in the hands of anyone else... but Jason Spaceman somehow makes it work...

He's got a certified masterpiece in Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and I would put Songs in A&E in the same category... plus there are several classic gems on his other Spiritualized and Spaceman 3 albums. The new Spiritualized album (although Spiritualized is a band, I think of it as essentially a one-man band, a vehicle for the art of Jason Pierce... no disrespect to his great guitarist, wonderful backing vocalists, and the other fine musicians he works with, but it's basically about him...) is utterly fantastic too, featuring the singles "Hey Jane" and "Little Girl"... He played several songs from the new album Sweet Heart, Sweet Light (my only complaint - they didn't play "Little Girl"), but the crowd seemed to respond more enthusiastically to the older material, especially the songs from Ladies and Gentlemen... I suppose many artists feel trapped under the weight of previous masterpieces, but the new album fits in well with the Spiritualized canon.

They opened the show with new single "Hey Jane":

"Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space..."

"Soul on Fire": One of my favorite songs.... (a bit too much of the other guitarist here but he did such a great job all night i can't and won't complain...)

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