Spiritualized @ the Hollywood Bowl (9/17/08)

[NOTE: This is the second in my series of three posts dealing with the concert that took place at the Hollywood Bowl on September 17th.  Thoughts on Cat Power’s performance can be found here.  My review of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will be forthcoming.]

It only took about 20 minutes for the second band of the evening to start their set.  That band was Spiritualized, a group I’ve followed for well over a decade, but had never bothered to see live.

Jason Pierce (aka J. Spaceman) came out wearing an ill-fitting white t-shirt, jeans, and a gigantic pair of sunglasses.  He looked out at the audience and then turned 90 degrees to his right, so that he was facing something or someone off-stage.  He stayed in that unusual position all night.

Spiritualized started off their set with a version of “Amazing Grace”.  The two backup singers really carried that song.  It was little more than an intro, though.  After a couple minutes, it morphed into “You Lie You Cheat”.  That’s when I first realized that Spiritualized is an incredibly loud band.  The drummer beat the hell out of his kit, and it almost seemed like the other members of the band were competing to see who could make the most noise up there.  Just when it started to get overwhelming, though, they’d pull back, find the melody again, and get quiet.  I like the rip-roaring Spiritualized, but I’ve always thought their best moments were the quiet ones.  They can make some beautiful music.

Speaking of beautiful music, there were quite a few impressive moments from Spiritualized’s set, but my personal favorite was getting to hear “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” from 1997’s album of the same name.  That’s been one of my favorite songs for over a decade.  The best part was that in a live setting, the band was able to incorporate the additional lyrics from “Can’t Help Falling in Love”.  Those lyrics, which were such an important part of the original song, had to be remixed out of the album version due to objections from Elvis Presley’s estate.  It was worth flying all the way out to California just to hear Spaceman sing:

All I want in life’s a little bit of love to take the pain away, getting strong today, a giant step each day…

while the backup singers were simultaneously belting out:

Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you…

I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of shit that brings tears to my eyes.

But enough about beauty…let’s talk bombast.  The show ended with a great rock and roll moment.  During a cacophony of noise, Spaceman smashed his guitar into an amp and then tossed it across the stage before storming off in a huff.  I’ve seen lots of performers act like they’re going to toss their equipment, but I believe this was the first time any of them actually followed through on the threat.  Like a wheelchair or a turtle, a guitar isn’t meant to be airborne.  It’s a disconcerting sight.

Here’s the setlist:

Setlist: Amazing Grace–>You Lie You Cheat/Shine a Light/Cheapster/Soul on Fire/Walking With Jesus/Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space/Death, Take Your Fiddle/Good Dope-Good Fun/Come Together

Unlike the Cat Power list, that one is complete and error-free.

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37 Responses to Spiritualized @ the Hollywood Bowl (9/17/08)

  1. crankypants says:

    maybe he was facing Mecca?
    I'm so clueless about most bands from the 90s, I may as well have been living under a rock.

  2. mariser says:

    LaGWAFiS is beautiful. thanks for posting it.I wasnt' familiar with Spiritualized until a few days ago when We<3Music posted about their Mpls show.

  3. hotrod says:

    I wouldn't have expected Spiritualized to bring the rawk. I think they are passing through DC soon. I may have to check them out.

  4. M-----l says:

    I think it's more likely that he had no idea where he was. Or maybe he decided he'd mug for the camera. The Hollywood Bowl has two of those gigantic television screens on either side of the stage.

  5. M-----l says:

    Those bastards are always trying to steal my concert review thunder. Couldn't they have shown a little respect and waited until I'd posted my review!? C'mon, I've been talking about this show since last April.(I am kidding here…I think.)

  6. crankypants says:

    i just paged through all your posts tagged "concert reviews". Damn you go to a lot of shows. I was cracking up at the Hall and Oates one. That was my very first concert, and they DID play Maneater, because it was a big hit on the radio then. I think it was early 1983. (I got free tickets, the first concert I paid for was the Kinks a couple weeks later)

  7. mariser says:

    my bad. should have checked before posting. the review I referred to was not by the We<3Music crowd, but by MusicFan.but don't get mad. your review is better [pats your hand]

  8. Melissa says:

    Those songs were really good. Thanks for linking them, I'll have to have C listen to them.

  9. M-----l says:

    Regarding the "rawk", I used to have Spiritualized's Royal Albert Hall live discs, so I sort of knew what they'd be like in concert. Of course, on a live record, I can just turn the volume down. The Hollywood Bowl did not have a volume knob.(You may have missed them. I think they've got a few more U.S. shows (CA/TX) and then they're heading back to England.)

  10. hotrod says:

    I have those live discs too. I should give them a listen.And I think I have missed them. What I thought was upcoming must have already passed.

  11. M-----l says:

    Damn you go to a lot of shows.Most people my age have given up on shows to spit out babies and be respectable. I have no interest in children or fitting in, so I just spend all my money on music (and books). I might regret this when I'm a homeless 70 year old, but right now it seems like a good way to live. Sure, I could be celebrating some kid making it all night without pissin' the bed, but I'd rather see a drug-addled Brit toss a guitar across a stage.Ah yes, Hall & Oates…that was a great show. I'm also very jealous that you got to see the Kinks. I saw Ray Davies a few years ago, but it would be much cooler if I'd seen the entire band. Oh well.

  12. M-----l says:

    I just went through W<3M's posts all the way back to July looking for their Spiritualized review. I was starting to get frustrated. I've never heard of "MusicFan", but I'll check out their review anyway. Thanks for the link…and the hand pat.

  13. crankypants says:

    Well you know I'm kind of the same way, only I don't spend as much money on music and books and traveling to see concerts.
    I was just looking through my ticket stubs again. I saw H&O on March 26, 1983. The Kinks were scheduled for the 18th but had to postpone. I have a bunch of jealous stubs. For instance I also saw your Chris Isaak review. I first saw him in 1987, for $7.50. I was 19 and lied my way into the Chestnut Cabaret which was over 21. I bought a ticket and figured I had a better chance of getting in. Now, it's really hilarious because I have always looked younger than my age. but I got in. I also saw him in London (my only overseas concert) in 1989 and he pulled my friend up on the stage and they later actually became kind of friends. I was so jealous because she'd never even heard of him before I made her go to the concert with me. Of course,I'm not Asian, she is. But she did get him to sign a t-shirt for me.
    /brush with fame story

  14. M-----l says:

    You lied. His Spiritualized review was much better than mine. Now I've got to rewrite the whole thing and find a new video to link to…as he used the exact same one. Dammit, now I'm never going to get to write my Nick Cave review.

  15. hotrod says:

    Buck up, young sportsman. Seeing Spiritualized in California is at least a million times cooler than seeing Spiritualized in Minnesota.

  16. M-----l says:

    Well, I'm glad you liked them. If you're planning on tricking your husband into liking the band, you should make the introductions some night when he's drunk. Spiritualized is best in the dark while inebriated.

  17. M-----l says:

    You think you're so cool with your Chris Isaak in London brush with fame story. Well, I can top that. I saw Hootie & the Blowfish at London's Shepards Bush Empire. I even said hello to the singer before the show…and he said hello back.So there!Oh wait, that wasn't cool at all. In my defense, it was the 90s and I didn't know any better.

  18. mariser says:

    HR is right. your venue is cooler, ergo your review is cooler. and did this other guy had waiters bringing him chicken and tiny potatoes? I think not.

  19. hotrod says:

    Mariser is right: I am frequently right.

  20. crankypants says:

    haha! Hootie & the Blowfish!! Damn, I knew better than that. But I was already pretty old and jaded then.
    GO WRITE YOUR NICK CAVE REVIEW! do not reply to this.
    much as I'd love to run through all my ticket stubs just because I am jealous of my 15-25 year old self…..

  21. M-----l says:

    You guys are right. I am cooler and my review is better. That other reviewer has Minnesota and writing skills, but I have California and
    tiny potatoes. Those were some damn fine potatoes, too. No joke…they were delicious.

  22. M-----l says:

    do not reply to this.Okay.

  23. hotrod says:

    Damn straight. Potatoes > Minnesota. QED.

  24. crankypants says:

    Why-yi-awta!
    *puts up dukes*
    Hotrod is really trying to conjure up Jodi!

  25. M-----l says:

    Hotrod is really trying to conjure up Jodi!That shouldn't be too difficult. Sixbucks told me they're actually the same person with some sort of multiple personality disorder.

  26. hotrod says:

    Oh, please. I've hated the flyover states for much, much longer than Jodi has been on Vox. I could say that potatoes are better than Missouri or potatoes are better than Indiana or potatoes are better than Wisconsin and still be right. Just ask Mariser. I am frequently right.

  27. crankypants says:

    I've known Sixbucks to be frequently right too!

  28. mariser says:

    just for the record, I said (and now realize I will live to regret) HR is right.I said nothing about "frequent".

  29. crankypants says:

    hahaha, I almost copied and pasted that when you said it and was going to reply, uh-oh, NOW you've done it.

  30. hotrod says:

    Well, this is awkward, but I guess the jig is up. Yes, Jodi is a manifestation of my multiple personality disorder. My team of doctors have noted that she tends to show up in stressful situations primarily as a dissenting voice. Often, she assumes a position that is clearly and indisputably incorrect. I am working with them to get past this ailment, but it hasn't been easy. I ask – now that you know this – for mercy. My "Jodi" persona often spouts misguided opinions, and she means not to offend. One day "she" will be gone and we will all be the happier.Thank you, my Vox friends, for your support and understanding. We will fight this malady together. I know it.

  31. crankypants says:

    Wow, I feel like I've just witnessed an historic moment. We'll go easy on Jodi.

  32. hotrod says:

    Thank you. It's really not her fault. Her very purpose is to be wrong all the time. Very, very wrong. You are, well, almost heroic to be able to look past that fact.

  33. crankypants says:

    So we'll all be nice to her and agree with everything she says, and tell her she's right, is that what you want?

  34. hotrod says:

    Oh, uh… Well… Damn. I didn't think this through.

  35. kitty says:

    This post is inducing a deep pang of regret. Instead of seeing them a fifth time, I opted for a road trip to Portland. It was a fun trip, but this sounds like a remarkable set.

  36. M-----l says:

    I've always wanted to visit Portland, but I think I'd have to choose Spiritualized if faced with picking between the two. Maybe not if I'd already seen the band four times, though.

  37. Pingback: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds @ the Hollywood Bowl (9/17/08) | Outgoing Signals

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