Lindsey Best We're back with more photos from Day Two of Coachella.…
- Posted on Jul 31st 2010 10:30AM by Kenneth Partridge
Pierce, who spoke to Spinner about the gig earlier this month, has staged similar concerts in England, but Friday's performance -- the culmination of a week-long series of shows celebrating the 25th anniversary of Spin magazine -- marked the first and possibly last time he'll revisit the album on U.S. shores.
The evening started with a bit of a tease. After the house lights had dimmed, the mighty Radio City curtain lifted halfway, giving fans a peak at the elaborate stage setup. The curtain fell just as fast, and another few minutes passed before a disembodied female voice -- ground control, ostensibly -- recited the album's title, starting the song cycle just as it does on the record.
Amid electronic blips, heavy bass, strings and horns, Pierce proceeded to sing the album's thesis statement: "All I want in life's a little bit of love to take the pain away." He sat, as always, on a stool on the far right side of the stage, and behind him, female singers echoed his words, voices reverent, robes pristine white.
While the set list offered few surprises -- encores 'Out Of Sight,' from Spiritualized's fourth album, 'Let It Come Down,' and the gospel tune 'Oh Happy Day' were the only deviations from the 'Ladies and Gentlemen' running order -- Pierce took liberties with the music. He used the strings and horns to stretch and swell the music, as in the final minutes of 'I Think I'm In Love,' when the 40-strong ensemble busted open what had been a staid, meandering jam and threw a psychedelic soul shakedown party. The lights behind the stage rose like droopy eyelids shocked awake, moving their beams from the floor to the audience.
Finale 'Cop Shoot Cop,' originally a 17-minute song, broke the 20-minute barrier, its middle section a strobe-lit cacophony of cathartic percussion, free-jazz horns, distorted guitars, keyboards and bass. The chaos was fitting, given that it's a song about heartbreak and drug use, the album's two main themes, but by the end, the music had calmed, and the lights had settled from spastic flashing to a red and purple glow. In the battle against his demons, Pierce had fought to a respectable draw.
"I will love you," he warbled at the song's conclusion, the choir right behind him, feeling his pain.
Watch a video of Spiritualized performing 'Out of Sight' during last night's encore:
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