Lindsey Best We're back with more photos from Day Two of Coachella.…
- Posted on Jul 9th 2010 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Part of a week-long celebration marking the 25th anniversary of Spin magazine, this will be the "only North American show and last performance of its kind," according to a press release. While those words have an air of finality, they're a little ambiguous -- after a series of emphatically received UK concerts, could this really be the last time the band will join forces with a choir, string orchestra and horn section and bring to the stage its magnum opus?
"I don't know," Spiritualized mastermind Jason Pierce, aka Jason Spaceman, tells Spinner. "I didn't write the press release. I don't have the answer to that. I guess so."
What Pierce knows for sure is that, beyond the Radio City gig, he has "no plans" to continue performing the album. Should he close the book on the 'Ladies and Gentlemen' live show, he'll do so having completed what fans and critics alike have deemed a wildly successful experiment -- one that began Oct. 2009, when Spiritualized debuted the full-album show at London's Royal Festival Hall.
Pierce had been approached for years about staging such a performance, but even as top-down run-throughs of classic albums became an industry phenomenon, he was reluctant to dwell in the past. It wasn't until the organizers of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival pitched the idea that he decided to give it a try.
"It's not something I'd want to do all the time," Pierce says. "We'd always been generally pretty forward-looking as a band. It's always been about pushing the thing further out. But it was such a special thing to do. It's such a rare thing to work with this big orchestra. It's just way out of my budget, if nothing else, to do these kinds of shows."
After the initial round of shows, Spiritualized reprised 'Ladies and Gentlemen' in May, performing as part of another All Tomorrow's Parties event, this one in Minehead, England. Despite fears the record's pacing would make for an anticlimactic concert experience, Pierce says the shows have been "amazing and really special."
"It's kind of a strange thing to do, to play a record," he says. "You tend to play the big songs first on a record. When you play [a regular concert], you tend to play the big songs later on. It's all about building drama. It's all about taking people along for the ride."
Now that he's seen it's a ride worth taking, might he consider performing other albums, such as 'Let It All Come Down,' Spiritualized's even more ambitious fourth album, in their entirety?
"Maybe -- I don't know," he says. "It's not in my immediate plans. I'm working on a new record. It really feels quite special, you know? I think that's the other reason why I could do these ['Ladies and Gentlemen'] shows: I didn't feel like it would be the beginning of the end."
Too often, he says, veteran acts revisit old albums as a means of catering to nostalgic audiences unwilling to hear new material.
"I don't think it's like that with Spiritualized," he says.