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J. Spaceman performs "Hey Jane" during the Spiritualized concert at The 9:30 Club on Thursday, May 10. (NPR)

Spiritualized In Concert

May 11, 2012

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Rock 'n' roll is most often the stuff of youth and vitality — of desire, of frustration, of love and lust and other ephemeral concerns. Spiritualized singer Jason Pierce (a.k.a. J. Spaceman) knows his way around music's role in such hedonistic pursuits, but his work also reflects an acute understanding of mortality, loss and the desire to lean on a force greater than oneself.

Pierce almost died twice in the last seven years, once from double-pneumonia and once from degenerative liver disease which necessitated chemotherapy. He recorded Spiritualized's remarkable new record, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, while recovering from the latter, and its songs don't hesitate to leer into the abyss. Even as they swagger and seethe, they document a frail and flawed man's circuitous journey through self-inflicted agonies and righteous redemption, and back around to agony.

That said, a Spiritualized concert is the stuff of big-hearted, spaced-out, bliss-packed joy and celebration. Sweet Heart Sweet Light overtly pursues salvation through divine intervention — it doesn't take a careful parsing of lyrics to figure that out — so it's appropriate that Spiritualized in concert can convey the spirit of a revival show.

Set List

  • "Hey Jane"
  • "Lord Let It Rain On Me"
  • "Headin' for the Top Now"
  • "Walkin' with Jesus"
  • "Oh Baby"
  • "Rated X"
  • "Born Never Asked"
  • "Electric Mainline"
  • "Soul on Fire"
  • "I Am What I Am" *
  • "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" *
  • "Mary"
  • "Stay with Me" *
  • "So Long You Pretty Thing" *
  • "She Kissed Me (And It Felt Like a Hit)" *
  • "Come Together" *
  • "Cop Shoot Cop"

* featured video

Credits

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans and Robin Hilton; Audio engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Claire O'Neill and John Rose; Production assistance: Michael Katzif and Dan Raby; Photos: Michael Katzif

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