Stream the entire concert here: http://www.npr.org/event/music/152291064/spiritualized-in-concert
Rock 'n' roll is most often the stuff of youth and vitality — of desire, of frustration, of love and lust and other ephemeral concerns. Spiritualized singer Jason Pierce (a.k.a. J. Spaceman) knows his way around music's role in such hedonistic pursuits, but his work also reflects an acute understanding of mortality, loss and the desire to lean on a force greater than oneself.
Pierce almost died twice in the last seven years, once from double-pneumonia and once from degenerative liver disease which necessitated chemotherapy. He recorded Spiritualized's remarkable new record, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, while recovering from the latter, and its songs don't hesitate to leer into the abyss. Even as they swagger and seethe, they document a frail and flawed man's circuitous journey through self-inflicted agonies and righteous redemption, and back around to agony.
That said, a Spiritualized concert is the stuff of big-hearted, spaced-out, bliss-packed joy and celebration. Sweet Heart Sweet Light overtly pursues salvation through divine intervention — it doesn't take a careful parsing of lyrics to figure that out — so it's appropriate that Spiritualized in concert can convey the spirit of a revival show.
Producers: Mito Habe-Evans and Robin Hilton
Audio engineer: Kevin Wait
Videographers: Claire O'Neill and John Rose
Production assistance: Michael Katzif and Dan Raby