Spiritualized – Orpheum Theatre; Los Angeles, CA
I’ve been seeing more live music lately than in months past. Maybe I’m learning how to budget my finances better, or maybe I’m just making a more concerted effort to enjoy more culturally/spiritually rewarding experiences. The most likely explanation for my sudden surge in concert ticket purchases is that more bands have come to LA recently than in months past. In fact, this week alone I could have seen great shows every single night. Starting last Saturday with the benefit for the family of Caleb Scofield (review incoming…), LA suddenly became a hotbed of bands I’d like to see. I missed Pelican on Sunday, had to turn down seeing Marissa Nadler on Monday (her new album is so fucking good!), and I’m missing Solstafir and/or Migos tonight. On Tuesday I saw Spiritualized (while missing Follakzoid and/or Windhand). It was the…sixth or seventh (?) time I’ve seen them live? When I started reading reviews of And Nothing Hurt and the implications were that this might be the last Spiritualized album/tour, I made it my business to get tickets to their show at the Orpheum downtown.
There was no opening band on the bill on this night. I can’t remember if anyone opened for J. Spaceman and Co. when I saw them at the United Artists Theatre a few years ago. I can’t remember if they had an opening act at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, either. My gut says no…but it seemed especially interesting this time around that there were no other artists on the bill with them. There were more than enough people on stage with the band, though. By our count there were 31 (!!!) musicians on stage during the set. Wordless Music Orchestra (10) plus the DC6 Singers (another 10) plus a brass section (6) plus the band (5) and an extra percussionist. Holy crap! That’s easily the largest ensemble they’ve played with at any show I’ve attended.
The result was — easily — the loudest Spiritualized show in memory. Songs like “Come Together” and “Out Of Sight” sounded fantastic with the full orchestra/horn treatment. I’ve been up and down on And Nothing Hurt since its release. I am not all that high on songs like “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go,” but “The Prize” and “Sail On Through” certainly got my attention. Since Tuesday night I’ve re-listened to the whole thing with fresh ears and have come away enjoying it much more.
If this is the last Spiritualized show I get to attend, I have to say it would make for a fitting finale. I was lucky enough to discover the band as a result of their opening up for Radiohead on the 1998 OK Computer tour. I’ve gotten to see them in venues as large as the Hollywood Bowl, and as small as that secret show at The Echo here in Los Angeles. I got to see them play my favorite record — Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space — in its entirety, and I also got to hear the line “I think that I’m a winner, baby / Probably Las Vegas” sung at a show in Vegas. I missed a few opportunities here and there through the years, but by and large, I have seen them on (almost) every US tour since that first gig in 1998. I have never left a Spiritualized show thinking anything other than “This is not only one of my favorite bands, it is one of the greatest bands I will ever have the pleasure of seeing perform.”
Shine A Light
Stay With Me
Soul On Fire
A Perfect Mile
I’m Your Man
Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go
On The Sunshine
The Morning After
Sail On Through
So Long You Pretty Thing [encore]
Out Of Sight [encore]
Oh Happy Day [encore]
Hold On (Reprise) [encore]
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