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[Review] Spiritualized & The Dirtbombs @ 9:30 Club

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CatPita coined the nifty little phrase of "concert nirvana" (which I have borrowed when needed) for those shows that hit you right in the gut and make you think that you couldn't imagine being anywhere else on the planet at that very moment. I reached that moment during just the second song of Spiritualized's incredibly brilliant set at the 9:30 Club on Friday.

After the chaotic drone of "You Lie You Cheat" abruptly segued into "Shine A Light" (my second favorite Spiritualized song - behind everyone's favorite) I lost myself for a moment as the two back-up singers gave their all to the song's gospel tinged background vocals. It was a moment, one you don't normally get 10 minutes into a gig. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other time it has happened any earlier in a set, in 2000 when the Super Furry Animals opened with "Smokin'" at the Bowery Ballroom, the only time I've ever seen them open a set with that song, which they rarely play. But I digress...

I tend to go hot and cold on Spiritualized. I love Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (who doesn't) but their live CD and more recent work doesn't do much for me. I think Friday's show was the first time I've truly seen the band properly do their thing and while it wasn't necessarily a sight to behold (as you'd probably imagine, the band is quite stationary. J Spaceman stands on one side of the stage facing his band, never the audience) it was pure sonic bliss. I also realized you have to listen to the band at neighbor-annoying volume to truly appreciate what they are capable of. Which brings me to my next point. The sound for the show was quite possibly the best I have ever heard at the 9:30. Perfect in every way. You could feel the bass in your chest, but also hear each and every whisper from the vocals.

The best part of all of this is you don't have to take my word for it, you can listen to the show on NPR. You can also see all of my photos on Prefixmag.com.


It's a shame NPR didn't record The Dirtbomb's opening set. They were straight fire. Both The Future Ms. Leaf and I were dragging when we got to the club, so their uptempo garage rock stylings were just what the doctor ordered to shake us out of our doldrums. I was texting myself song titles to go buy from iTunes when I got home. The band doesn't have many tricks up their sleeve, but they do what they do very well.