Shut the @#$!& Up!!

Jason Pierce Spiritualized
with Acetone
Richard's on Richards
Vancouver, B.C.
Friday, November 7, 1997

Spewed bile by Darren Gawle
Photography by Rodney Gitzel

It must be nice not to give a shit. It must be nice to have the disposable income to spend on a ticket to one of the few value-for-your-money shows you're likely to get this year, and then show up and just yap away to your friends, oblivious to the fact that you're obscuring what little sound manages to reach the upper mezzanine at Dicks on Dicks (and I do stress the word dick, here) And it really must be nice to then go home to your roommates to say how the show really wasn't such a big deal. Fuck the lot of you.

Acetone guitarist So the staff at Richard's make sure the show's pushed ahead enough (8:15!) to allow their regular patrons in for at least a couple of hours of salivating to D.J. Pavlov's flavour-of-the-month handbag 'n classic rock after the inconvenience of an actual concert. Ok, like it doesn't happen at the Rage, too, and in the end it's my own damn fault for arriving too late to catch Acetone.

Spiritualized saxophonist But for Christ's sake, you'd think that any regular patrons might clue in that Spiritualized isn't some schmuck covers band here to play "Mustang Sally" while the useless fucks in the bachelor party by the shooter bar grope the waitresses and do drunken imitations of foghorns in the middle of a brilliantly reworked version of "Broken Heart," with Sean Cook -- the coolest-looking human being on the planet -- on an especially doleful harmonica. No, I didn't think so.

Spiritualized guitarist So what is my point, exactly? Well, how am I supposed to review a show if I can't tell what song the band is playing -- the quiet bits of "All of My Thoughts" and "Medication" most notably fall victim -- because of the chatter from the crowd?? (The worst offenders are the indie poseurs who choose to argue at length over which was the best Spacemen 3 album.) Or if I can't concentrate on what little of the Spiritualized vibe is reaching the upper levels of the club when I've got visions of taking a blowtorch to someone's scrotum? At least the crowd directly in front of the stage is into the show, but anyone else who's not within fifteen feet of the mains is shit out of luck.

Spiritualized on TV Of course, the possibility that this is the worst show I've ever been to is not the fault of the band; Jason Pierce may be a perfectionist, but there's nothing wrong with that if it means the band is always playing at its best (as at the Town Pump in '95 when the crowd shut up enough that you could hear the band and get into the vibe). Still, Spiritualized's management should, in future, try to find a venue more worthy of their (and our) collective attention.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on November 17, 1997

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