Sasquatch! 2012: SpiritualizedPosted by Timothy Grisham
Fresh off the heels of the release of their seventh release since forming in the early 90s, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Spiritualized has commenced a North American tour that took them to the closing spot on Sasquatch!’s Bigfoot stage.
By the time Spiritualized took the stage, following an all covers set by Deer Tick that that had the unfortunate effect of clearing the crowd, the band took to the stage with little fan fare; and it was clear that they could care less… The band was there to play music, not make friends.
The group, lead by frontman Jason Pierce (AKA J. Spaceman), launched immediately into the first single from their new album, “Hey Jane”, a song that blends gospel overtones with an approach that is almost more “Velvet Underground” than the Velvet Underground. At the song’s core is a descent into noise and chaos, followed by a smooth, melodic outro. The song felt like a shocking embodiment of what is at the heart of Spiritualized, dramatic falls and retribution.
Pierce’s demeanor throughout the night was as stoic and cold as the band can feel at times, with occasional flourishes of chaos, his very being is the core of a band that follows his every action with precision and an intense emotive drive. True to form, the show was about the music, no stage banter, no flashy attention grabs, just a band in full swing looking producing a transcendent musical experience.
By the time the band launched into their third number, Spaceman 3’s “Sound of Confusion”, the crowd had amassed before the Bigfoot stage swirling in bright white pulsating lighting. A band with a deep relationship with discussing religion, “Sound of Confusion” was the second straight song of the set to utilize Jesus as a core element of the song’s story; by then end of “Sound of Confusion” the show had a genuine feeling of a modern rock revival, deeply emotional and entrancing.
When the group played, perhaps their most famous song, “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space”, the crowd had began to sway with the pulsating punch that barrows heavily from Johann Pachelbel, however many had migrated to the Beck show. The trick in festival booking is getting as many people to see as much as they want, Spiritualized original spot was opposite Tenacious D, but due to Mogwai canceling because of visa problems, they had to be moved opposite Beck, who has a similar-although entirely more vast-draw.
The highlight of the show was a firey version of “Mary” from their latest offering, which found the band at their most fierce; erupting into a sea of feedback and fuzz it was clear that despite playing opposite of Beck, who had the bulk of the audience by this point, that they simply were going to throw it all out there for any and all to see in a fashion that embodied their entire performance.
By the time the band crashed through their set and left the stage in a sea of feedback the audience was desperate for more, however tonight there was no encore.