Just about every Spiritualized song sounds like it would be perfect as last number of the evening, whether it’s a mournful elegy, sweet lullaby or noisy psych-out. That makes their concerts a marathon blissfest of stacked crescendos capable of turning an intimate venue like Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall into a Moon Palace for the night.
This was the first show of Spiritualized’s tour, a run of Northeast headline shows making up for when their 2022 tour got ended early due to a medical emergency. As usual, Jason Pierce let the music do the talking over the course of a wonderful two-hour-plus “An Evening With” set. It was almost like they picked up right where they left off last year, with the same great band and a setlist that was very similar to what they were doing then. Which is fine, as the sequence of songs plays the audience like a piano, from gracenotes to a maelstrom of guitars and back again. When “Hey Jane” flows so perfectly into “She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit),” “Shine a Light,” and “I’m Coming Home Again,” why change up things?
The bulk of the set is from Spiritualized’s two most recent albums — 2018’s And Nothing Hurt and 2022’s Everything Was Beautiful — which made for some of the best moments of the night, including “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go,” “Always Together With You,” and “I’m Your Man.” Pure Phase was skipped but at least one song from the rest of their albums was included.
Peirce puts most of his emotion into his playing and delivery, but he did flash a grin to his essential trio of backup singers who never stopped smiling. His band was in great form, too, especially guitarist Doggen Foster who was throwing fire the whole night.
While I felt very lucky last year to have seen Spiritualized in a cave in Tennessee, White Eagle Hall was a better show, with a better light show, longer set, and more relaxed vibe. The main set closed with And Nothing Hurt‘s “Sail on Through,” but they returned for a two-song encore of Sweet Heart Sweet Light‘s “So Long You Pretty Thing” and Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space‘s “Come Together” which ripped the lid off the joint, bringing the night to an epic close.
Check out photos from the show by P Squared along with the setlist below.
Spiritualized’s East Coast tour hits Basilica Hudson on Wednesday (11/8) and NYC’s Webster Hall on Sunday (11/12). After these headline dates, the band will open for Queens of the Stone Age on Southwest and West Coast shows.
SETLIST: Spiritualized @ White Eagle Hall 11/6/2023
She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)
Shine a Light
I’m Coming Home Again
A Perfect Miracle
Always Together With You
I’m Your Man
The Morning After
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)
Soul on Fire
Sail on Through
So Long You Pretty Thing