Posted in music on July 29, 2008

by Klaus Kinski (who was @ Music Hall in Brooklyn)


Of all the times I've seen Spiritualized, Saturday's seated show (7/26/08) at the Music Hall of Williamsburg sadly ranks as my least favorite. That isn't to say the show wasn't good; it really was. But for me it just wasn't AS good as past performances. The set list certainly did not disappoint. The band, complete with a pair of gospel singers, played classics including "Shine a Light", "Electricity", and "She Kissed Me" as well as tunes from their new record Songs In A&E including "Soul on Fire" and "Sweet Talk" (complete set list below). But I thought show lacked the energy and electricity of the Bowery/Irving/North Six shows from years ago, as well as the emotive qualities of the Acoustic Mainlines gig at the Apollo. I realize it wasn't their first show on the tour, but halfway through the set it began to feel like a dress rehearsal for the Terminal 5 show happening the next day in Manhattan. I wish I saw the non-seated T5 show so I could compare them. How was that one?

To summarize, the Brooklyn show was expertly played and the song selection was impeccable, but I left feeling a little blase about the experience. Listen to the Friday DC show on NPR. Check out the Brooklyn setlist below...

Spiritualized - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Setlist

You Lie You Cheat
Shine A Light
Soul On Fire
Sweet Talk
Sitting On Fire
Walking With Jesus
Oh Baby
Rated X
Lay Back In The Sun
Death Take Your Fiddle
She Kissed Me
Come Together
Take Me To The Other Side

Lord Can You Hear Me



Comments (52)

I've never seen them before so I can't compare... but I can't say I was all that impressed with the performance. Def. worth going (esp since I got the tix for cheap), but I donno... I expected a better show.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:42 PM

I have never seen them before, but I thought it was great. Hear you on the lack of energy, but I feel like it fit the atmosphere...

would like to read a comparison of the two shows.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:46 PM

I thought it was a fantastic show, but I also had enjoyed the Apollo show more. I guess it depends on which side of Spiritualized you like more since the acoustic Apollo show with strings was a completely different animal than the Music Hall show. I really can't imagine Terminal 5 show to have been better. That dump truly takes the enjoyment out of a performance however good it might be.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:49 PM that a Spacemen 3 cover at the end???...

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 12:53 PM

Yeah I agree with you anon 12:53.... term five is an unpleasent experience.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:01 PM

I agree about the MHOW show. Maybe it's just the law of diminishing returns? I try and see these guys every tour, and except for the acoustic mainlines show it's getting a little same-y.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:03 PM

Yes, anon, they played three Spacemen 3 tracks (Walking with Jesus, Take Me to the Other Side, and Lord, Can you Hear Me?)

Posted by hamish | July 29, 2008 1:05 PM

Terminal 5 wasn't unpleasant at all. The show wasn't sold out, so you could see from anywhere. Sound was pretty damn good too...

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:06 PM

Yeah but they check your bags and sometimes your pockets (almost got my weed taken)... and there is no reentry... and the drinks are expensive..... term five sucks!

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:09 PM

^ you mean like every other fucking venue of that size?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:19 PM

T5 was incredible. The sound was killer and they sounded great. Wasn't my ideal set list but Spaceman's voice has gotten a lot stronger since he got out of the hospital. Brilliant.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:22 PM

Music Hall was a beautiful show...small crowd and personal

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:45 PM

I was kind of hoping he would bring a small string ensemble and have a pleasant balance between acoustic and spacerock.. but he just went straight for spacerock. it was a little strange to be seated but some of the songs were indeed long. there were some definite Pink Floyd moments though. he shouldn't overuse the gospel singers.

Posted by Shoegaze | July 29, 2008 1:47 PM

never seen them before, and never been to T5 before. the show was really really good, the sound was great in the middle of the floor and not very pleasant on the second level. the drink prices shocked me. I was glad I wasn't seated tho...

Posted by orphan yachts | July 29, 2008 1:48 PM

it was my first time at the much-maligned terminal 5, and i was pleasantly surprised ... i got there early, was right up front, and was blown away by the sound quality. my guess is that terminal 5 is becoming a preferred venue because of its superior sound and lighting system. bowery ballroom can't match it in terms of sound quality, and i don't think the music hall in w'burg can either. the trick, it appears, it to get there early and grab a good spot.

and, oh yeah, spiritualized was amazing ... pierce is a force for good. this was a generous, heartfelt, rocking performance by a great band.

Posted by eli | July 29, 2008 1:50 PM

I disagree, have seen them many a time and thought the show at MHOW was solid and affecting. And Take Me to the Other Side, wowza, was amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:53 PM

i just wish he was less gospel more psych rock like spacemen 3 were. its like there are a million fuckin bands that are doing that shit now, or something like it, and none of them are any good (looking your way a place to bury strangers). its a shame that such a cool style of music has gone the way of morons that think deerhunter or bjm are the greatest psych bands of all time.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:00 PM

didn't see the shows but heard the performance on NPR. Despite weird sound quality I thought the set was great. The gosple singers are used very economically, too -- replacing the instrumentation of past line ups with Reichian vocal lines. Pretty fucking cool.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:04 PM

who thinks deerhunter is a great psych band? If you go to japan you will here some good psych bands.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:07 PM

Eli, yours has to be the post of the day. You're either joking or you don't know anything about sound and concert venues. T5 is becoming the preferred venue over Bowery and Music Hall? Is that why the T5 show did not sell out you think? I live couple of blocks away from T5 and I went to the Music Hall show like anybody in their right mind who isn't clueless would do.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:33 PM

The Terminal 5 show was one of the best shows I've ever fuckin seen!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:35 PM

Boris is better than Spiritualized.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:45 PM

i was just confused they didn't put the show at webster hall or a similar sized venue. and i thought spiritualized rocked at T5. the sound could have been better, as it was a bit tinny and some of the levels were off, but the songs were played well and jason's voice has more behind it now. i think they sounded fine in T5 because all of the fuzz masks cavernous and empty feel of the venue's space.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:55 PM

did they do 'cop shoot cop' at t5? rumors are swirling

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:02 PM

no they did not play cop shoot cop sadly. i thought they would have because of its omission the night before.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:11 PM

I was at both shows and liked them equally. Sets were exactly the same, I think. I've always felt that electric Spiritualized should be played in a bigger, more open room so there is more space to fill with sound, but I can't say the Music Hall was lacking for anything in those terms - though I wasn't sitting down which might have added a different dynamic. There was nothing at all wrong with the sound in T5, of course I'm not the professional audiophile like apparently everyone else that's ever been to that venue. I think, though I could be wrong, that at T5 Jason actually said thanks to the the audience, which would be the first time I've ever heard him utter a word at a show. Dirtbombs were an odd opener for them, but they were awesome as always.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:19 PM



Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:22 PM

WHAT THE FUCK? Is it bizarro world up in this bitch today? I know one thing is for sure and that is the people on here saying the show at T5 was the best ever and the sound was incredible are either Bowery Presents employees, dumb jokers or just completely fucked up and deaf. And I will bet that none of them were at MHOW. I was at both of the shows and you cannot even compare the two. The sound for T5 was crap and i was right up front. It was harsh, brittle, muddy in many places. There was no space or seperation between the instruments. Sounded like everything was slammed together. Music Hall was completely different. The sound was crystal clear. The guitar sounds coming out of each speaker on their respective sides was mind blowing. I have never heard MHOW sound that good.
Performance wise, well I have seen them more times than the shows Klaus listed in NYC as well as having seen them overseas. From Klaus review it is clear why he mainly reports on comedy. This was a really amazing performance and full of energy. Maybe a different type of energy but powerful nonetheless. One of the better shows I have seen from them.
Some of these comments above are seriously weird.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:26 PM

great show!

i noticed he used the name Jason rather than Johnny in "Come Together."

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:30 PM

Anon 3:26pm again. Here is a perfect example of what i was trying to say about people bullshitting or talking out of their ass.

"I think, though I could be wrong, that at T5 Jason actually said thanks to the the audience, which would be the first time I've ever heard him utter a word at a show. "

This guy claims he was at both shows. Jason has uttered words at other shows if you have seen them before and he thanked the audience twice at MHOW. Before they went off stage at the end of the set and then right before they started the encore. You were not at the show buddy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:33 PM

The sound was really great at MHOW. The crowd really showed their appreciation and it seemed like Jason was having a great time, especially towards the end. I haven't seen them in a few years and they didn't blow my socks off, but they're older, and I'm older and I don't get my socks blown off that often. I appreciated the quality and the craft of the performance way more than in times past, that's for sure.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:37 PM

Christ, take it easy. I'm anon 3:26 and I was at both shows. I saw Jason do his clapping thing at MHOW, but didn't hear him say anything - which apparently makes me a liar? I've seen them before, but not every single Spiritualized show ever including rehearsals and private parties, so next time I'll know better than trying to make a jokey aside. Thank you for putting me in my place.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:41 PM

2:33 .. the sound was terrific where i was standing. and i think T5 is becoming a preferred place for bigger bands because of its clearly superior (to my ears and eyes) sound and lighting.

i heard ever guitar line, every word pierce sang, and everything in between. i guess such things can be subjective, no?

and T5 likely did not sell out because it was on a sunday night, just after the show at MHOW, and was at a much-criticized club. and someone not clueless would choose a rare electric mainline show over a pierce acoustic gig any day of the week ... so shut up, shitball.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:45 PM

I'm sure it's different right up front, but outside of that the suckiness of T5 is one of the most unimpeachably truths of the universe.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:48 PM

I was at both shows also. Music Hall show blew my socks off. The sound at Music Hall is usually great even though it hardly matches Bowery's. This was the best sounding show I have seen there. The performance at Terminal 5 was great too, but the sound was not good as usual. You don't need to be an audiophile to hear that, but if you're used to listening to your music on bad quality iTunes files, then I can see how you might think the sound at Terminal 5 was great.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:50 PM

Everybody is a fucking expert. The comments section of this blog should just be disabled because while some of the articles are interesting, the comments are a train wreck.

Posted by Sharkdog | July 29, 2008 3:51 PM

Anon 3:41 I am not sure how that was a joke. But i guess with the level of what people think is comedy on here then maybe i understand. But yes he did thank the crowd twice. I am not sure how you did not hear this but maybe you were all the way in the back and not paying attention.

Anon 3:45pm you are so obviously a shill for BP it is laughable. T5 the perferred place for bigger bands? Anyone who claims that if they are not an employee like yourself is deaf AND blind. Well maybe you are deaf and blind as well claiming you heard every guitar line etc.
They have been losing money on many shows there and it is rightly criticized with each new show they put on. Oh and just to show how laughable this really is. The T5 show was on sale a month or 2 before MHOW was even announced. They were not even close to selling out by that point. That is why the Music Hall show was delayed in being sold.
Your bosses at BP should school you a little better before unleashing you on the blog world

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:55 PM

Perhaps I was talking to a friend when Jason thanked the crowd. I guess you will never have that problem.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:01 PM

to all the sound engineers and other audio experts on this site-

what specifically is the cause of the bad acoustics/sound at T5? is the architecture of the building, the walls, the speakers and other electronics? and what would you suggest the people at T5 do to improve the sound quality, besides of course tearing down the building?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:07 PM

"You don't need to be an audiophile to hear that, but if you're used to listening to your music on bad quality iTunes files, then I can see how you might think the sound at Terminal 5 was great."

THANK YOU anon 3:50. Completely nailed that.

Anon 4:01pm, as i said earlier you were not paying attention. I speak to my friends after the show. I go to concerts to pay attention to the performance.

Anon 4:07pm well you mentioned tearing down the building. Thing is they did not BUILD the building or the club. This was built as a disco and used for that for years. That is why the sound is bad. It was not built for rock shows or more acoustic shows. BP came in and did not really do anything to the place other than build the side bars and stuff. Unlike Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge or MHOW which they worked on for sound. It would probably need a huge expensive overhaul in those respects.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:22 PM

the music hall show was mind blowing. it was honestly one of the best shows i have seen in a long time. it ranks right up there with neil young at united palace.

the sound was incredible...not loud but very dynamic and clear.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:32 PM

Wasn't at the MHOW show. Thought the T5 show was really good, but not great. Definitely sounded a bit hollow and I never thought I would say this about a Spritualized show but I really think it could have been like 10db louder. Disagree with the comment about the instruments sounding slammed together...I thought you could decipher all tracks pretty well. Horns or strings would have added a lot to the show and their omission is probably why I've enjoyed past Spiritualized shows more. And I was really disappointed that they didn't play I Think I'm In Love. All that said, it's always rad seeing these guys.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 4:38 PM

I enjoyed the T5, got there early and my friend and I were front and center at the rail. It was very similar to the Pitchfork set, but Jason seemed more comfortable and grateful to the devoted audience. At Pitchfork there were a lot of annoying teenage girls covering their ears and wincing up front, waiting for Spoon to come on. (Although I really enjoyed his angry departure at Pitchfork). I was happy to hear the three Spacemen 3 tracks and some other staples, but have also liked to hear "I Think I'm In Love," "Medication," and maybe a few others off Pure Phase. My friend and I loved his "Thank You" at the end.

Posted by Nikki | July 29, 2008 4:54 PM

Eli (1:50PM and 3:45PM), you are clueless on so many levels. No need to repeat what was said earlier, but I'd like to point out that the Music Hall show was not an acoustic gig. It was pretty much the same show as the Terminal 5 one. People have been commenting on it, but I guess your reading is just as bad as your hearing.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 5:13 PM

Some things that sound good to some people might sound bad to others. End of story. Why do these petty arguments persist around here? I am ashamed and the complete lack of maturity these comments tend to harvest. GROW UP AND BE A LITTLE MORE OPEN MINDED

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 6:05 PM

Both shows were fantastic, but MHOW had a different feel and distinctly better sound.

The crowed at T5 seemed much more mixed though -- I hated seeing bored and expressionless faces, visibly annoyed at the "noise."

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 6:11 PM

First, I agree with the immaturity of comments on this site. But that mostly applies to "this band sucks, that band sucks" comments we see around here. The sound at Terminal 5 is a different story. Sure, people's tastes in sound differ, but that's usually about small nuances. There is such a thing as good sound/bad sound at a venue and that's hardly a matter of taste. It's ignorance. There are many ways to get music with a good sound quality whether you steal it or pay for it. Yet tons of people do their music shopping on iTunes and pay for low quality, DRM-infected music files because they don't know any better. If you consider yourself a concertgoer, then you need to complain when they are feeding you bad sound. Bowery Presents, everyone's favorite concert promoters in NYC, made a mistake and did music fans a great disservice by opening Terminal 5. It will eventually close, but the sooner the better. If more people complain and boycott the place, the sooner we will get a better venue or go back to the good old ones. NOW GROW UP AND OPEN YOUR EARS.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2008 6:33 PM

Maybe if you had actually sat back and enjoyed the show, rather than spend most of the time fiddling with your camera you would have had a good time. I've seen Spiritualized 6 times now and it was a fantastic show.

Posted by Charles | July 29, 2008 6:38 PM

i still think it sounded great at T5. i'm right. you're wrong. just because you yell louder than i do and choose to insult doesn't mean you're right. you know this, don't you?

long live the sound at T5. may all shows soon sound just like those at T5 ...

Posted by eli | July 29, 2008 8:39 PM

I'm not a vegan and don't live in Brooklyn, can I still post?
I did live in Park Slope during Intermediate School and High School, and had a store-front loft in Williamsburg back when eating out in the neighborhood meant choosing frieded or boileded pirogi and the only records were at Sal's Army...
Bonafides established, I'd like to say that the sound at the show Sunday night at Terminal 5 was way better than say at the Ritz when it was on 11th street. Maybe that's not saying much, and I don't mean to sound all "you kids today don't know how good you have it" but c'mon. You saw a band that you presumably like play live, there were no equipment malfunctions, they didn't walk off the stage in the middle of the first song, the drummer didn't explode.
Lay back and enjoy it!
If this was a forum for professional sound technicians or something I could see getting all bent out of shape about the upper bass rolling off or the tweeters hissing or whatever.
But it isn't.
I for one liked the show, despite missing my bus from Providence, having to drive in the torrential rain and lightning, taking five and a half hours to get there because of traffic and then having to drive straight home after the show to work Monday morning (yeah, I know I should have seen them in Boston).
flame on

Posted by tzed | July 29, 2008 10:49 PM

I was at the T5 show. Although this one did not have the energy as the last time I saw them, back in either '01 or '02 in SF, I still thought it was great. In terms of the sound--I stood about 1/2 back to the bar directly in the middle, and the sound was excellent. I shut my eyes for most of the show and was completely transported. I did notice, however, that as I slid closer up and my spatial relation to the huge hanging speaker stacks was altered by it being more above and less in front, the sound started muddying, some clarity and separation was lost.

Posted by bc13 | July 29, 2008 11:52 PM

They played Lay Back In The Sun,
The rest is gravy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:38 PM

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