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- Posted on Jul 30th 2010 3:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Jim Dyson, Getty Images
On Friday, July 30, Spiritualized will present 'Ladies and Gentlemen' in full at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, staging what's being billed as the album's first and last stateside performance. Pierce says that even after all these years, playing the songs is a powerful experience.
"They're infused with massive amounts of emotion," he tells Spinner. "I don't think I've ever played a show where I'm just playing the songs in the right order and [saying], 'This is how the song goes.' I think the thing about playing live is you try to inhabit that place again. It's about electricity and trying to find that."
The version of Spiritualized Pierce now leads bears little resemblance to the one that recorded 'Ladies and Gentlemen' -- he's the only member left from that era, in fact -- but he says today's incarnation is better equipped to handle the music.
"I don't think the band that actually made that record were capable of playing that live the same way it is now," he says. "I think we've got better, maybe, at trying to hold onto those moments and trying to force everything until you get there. That's how you play -- otherwise it's cabaret."
Reading the lyrics to such songs as 'Broken Heart' and 'Cop Shoot Cop,' about lost love and drug use, respectively, one might imagine that revisiting 'Ladies and Gentlemen' would be a painful experience. Not so, says Pierce, who finds the shows cathartic.
"That room, when we play, it is deeply peaceful, and that's the deal," he says. "In the same way [that when you] play music that makes you cry, you don't say, 'I ain't gonna visit that place again.' That's why it seems like worth doing again. If it were just, 'These are the songs in the right order,' we would have done it once. We would have played the shows and that would have been the end of it. But it's just an amazing experience, and it kind of works like it's got this kind of thing where those songs fit together just right, so it feels like the natural thing to be playing."