Jason Pierce has been making music for thirty years. His experience showed at the Granada Theater on Tuesday night during Spiritualized’s two hour long marathon set. His band members were uniformly dressed in black shirts and gray pants, while he wore white pants and t-shirt, accompanied by two female backup singers in white dresses. None of the individuals on stage moved more than a foot and a half. The most physically expressive moments from the band came from guitarist Peter Kember, while he skillfully pummeled the whammy bar on his Stratocaster. The B grade visuals projected across the stage and on the screens were hardly adding to the experience. The sounds coming out of the speakers were all Spaceman J really needed to woo his adoring fans, and he knew it.
The precise temporal patterns documented in the bands’ seven albums were hit often, the volume was dialed in high, and the overpowering waves of sound throughout most of the set often divulged into jam territory,. With thirty years’ experience, you would expect a flawless performance, but that was not quite the case. Instead the Dallas crowd got to see Jason hiccup and restart his opening verse of “Hey Jane” and completely skip the second verse of Ladies and Gentlemen staple “Come Together.” During quiet moments on “Hey Jane,” “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space,” and “So Long You Pretty Thing” the band was not exactly tight and the playing was not very clean. All qualms aside, the physical experience of Spiritualized’s music was impressive.
The setup and lack of energetic stage presence showed Jason Pierce’s age. The music wasn’t always ‘perfectly’ performed, but the legacy and history that is Spiritualized carried the show along. The riffs entrenched in the annals of the minds and ears present could easily fill in for the missing sounds and incomplete harmonies. This show will go down as one of those warm fuzzy memories, where the incompletes don’t matter and the shortcomings, you assume, are just your feeble mind forgetting.