Spiritualized electrified a cave in Tennessee (pics, setlist, video)
If you ever have a chance to see Spiritualized in a cave, don't pass it up. On Sunday (9/11), Jason Pierce and the rest of his band played The Caverns, a unique subterranean venue in Pelham, TN about 90 minutes southeast of Nashville, and few groups have a sound that is as naturally suited to natural acoustics as them. Spiritualized turned that cave into a church, and after two hours of their gospel-fueled rock n' roll, everyone left a convert.
As he has done for the past few tours, Pierce played the entire show seated in an office swivel chair, and didn't say a word to the audience apart from "thank you" at the very end, but the music did all the speaking. Backed by a five piece band (two guitarists, bass, drums, keyboards) and three crucial backup singers who also had a few synchronized dance moves, J. Spaceman delivered a mesmerizing, electrifying set where nearly every song had moments of pure elation and noisy psychedelic freakouts. Spiritualized only have a few moves -- the charged, bluesy rocker, the swaying redemptive ballad, the chugging Velvet Underground-style jam -- but Pierce has managed to successfully mine them for three decades and struck gold again and again in The Caverns.
Despite having reissued all their albums since their last visit to North American, Spiritualized's set was almost entirely from their interconnected last two albums -- 2018's And Nothing Hurt and this year's Everything Was Beautiful -- with only two songs from '90s. They kicked things off with a jump with "Hey Jane" from Sweet Heart Sweet Light, and followed that up with the wallop of Amazing Grace's "She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)." They then brought it down with Lazer Guided Melodies' swooning high point, "Shine a Light," which led beautifully into Everything Was Beautiful's "I'm Coming Home Again."
From there the show continued with amazing highs and gorgeous lows, including "I'm Your Man," "I Gotta Fire," "Best Thing You Never Had (The D Song)," "The A Song (Laid in Your Arms)," "Let It Bleed (For Iggy)," and more, before descending with Ladies and gentlemen we're floating in space's gargantuan "Come Together" which sounded massive and perfect in the cave, followed by And Nothing Hurt's "Sail on Through," appropriately closing out with "So Long You Pretty Thing" from Sweet Heart Sweet Light, which was the first time they'd played it in 2022. The band was fantastic and I can't say enough about how much the backup vocalists brought to the sound. They really made Spiritualized soar, while trippy projections made the cave seem to come alive.
There was no encore -- The Caverns don't have a backstage, the musicians enter through the front like everybody else, so it would be awkward -- but "So Long You Pretty Thing" was an extra, 17th song that no other city has gotten on this tour. Spiritualized played for exactly two hours and I don't think a single person there would've left if they'd played for another hour.
Most of this tour is "An Evening With Spiritualized" but Nashville resident Nikki Lane -- who sings backup on Everything Was Beautiful's "Crazy" (which they didn't play at The Caverns) played a short, early set to warm up the crowd. A few pictures from the evening, along with setlist and video from Spirtiualized's set, are below.
Pick up Spiritualized albums on vinyl in the BV shop.
SETLIST: Spiritualized @ The Caverns 9/11/2022
She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)
Shine a Light
I'm Coming Home Again
A Perfect Miracle
I'm Your Man
The Morning After
Soul on Fire
I Gotta Fire
Here It Comes (The Road) Let's Go
Best Thing You Never Had (The D Song)
Let It Bleed (For Iggy)
The A Song (Laid in Your Arms)
Sail on Through
So Long You Pretty Thing