Spiritualized & Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Cane's Bar & Grill, San Diego, CA04/06/01
First of all the Mission Beach area of San Diego is an excellent place
to visit. Not only was there free parking (a rarity in Los Angeles), there
was also giant pizza slices, a nice beach, amusement park rides, and some
interesting shops and outdoor vendors. Cane's Bar and Grill was a nice
intimate venue to see these two amazing bands (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
and Spiritualized) in concert. However, the first thing I noticed is how
tall Spiritualized and BRMC fans and well-wishers are... and most of these
people did not notice that the vertically challenged could not see through
them. Otherwise, the show was very enjoyable, if not extremely long due to
Spiritualized signature soaringly epic performance (just under 2 hours!).
The music of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was energetic, racous, noisy,
and beautiful at times, and did not even seem too loud. The band was very
animated on stage and often stepped back out of the smoky red and blue
lights when switching off vocals or to play intricate guitar or bass lines.
Because of the tall people in front of me for most of the time, I could
barely see drummer Nick Jago pounding away on the drums, though on occasion
I could see his dark curtain of hair covering his face. Mysteriously aloof
guitarist/singer Peter Hayes and performer extrordinaire Robert Turner on
bass/vocals would occasionally mumble a "Thank you" to the audience between
songs, but their music and lyrics said more than any words could.
They opened with their current UK single "Spread Your Love," a real
rocker. They continued their noisy rock assault with "White Palms," a song
very reminiscent of the Jesus & Mary Chain, and "Rifles" with spiky guitar
riffs and feedback. They played their two US radio singles "Love Burns,"
somewhat uplifting after the last two songs, and "Whatever Happened to My
Rock'n Roll (Punk Song)," which added to the built up excitement from the
last song and was well-received by the crowd. "Awake" was beautiful as usual
despite some sound problems. They ended their set with "Kill the US
Government" and a new song called "Stop," which featured some slide guitar
which added to the already hypnotically beautiful noise.
Spiritualized featured a new eight piece band with lead Spaceman Jason
Pierce off to the right side of the stage, next to the keyboardist, bassist
and drummer on the center stage, slide guitarist/harmonica player, another
guitarist, and xylophone player. They played an amazing set of new and old
songs including some Spacemen 3. The music was dirge-like, droning and full
of gorgeous atmospheric feedback at times, and fast and noisy at others.
They opened with "Electricity," probably their fastest and noisiest song of
the night with "Come Together" slowing things down a bit to the next song
"Shine a Light," which was well-matched by the blue, green, and occasionally
radiating white lights. They played some of my favorites "Walking with
Jesus," "Electric Mainline," "I think i'm in love" and a seemingly extended
version of "Medication," a combination of their noisiest and most soaringly
lovely songs. "Broken Heart" featured the bluesy harmonica sound of the new
Half the audience must have left before they finished their set,
though I did see Robert of BRMC enjoying the show. Spiritualized came back
for a one song encore, which actually may have been too much - considering
how drained they might have been after playing for the first hour and a
half, not to mention the audience!