Nikki Lane is the real deal. In her set opening for Spiritualized, the South Carolina retro country singer proved herself to be no pretender, but a real devotee to the sounds and attitude associated with the outlaw country scene of the past. Case in point: while introducing her cover of Jessi Colter’s “Why You Been Gone So Long,” she asked if the crowd knew of Colter – “You know, Waylon Jennings’ wife?” With that, she lifted up her sleeve to reveal a Waylon tattoo. Later in her set, she uttered a phrase that cemented my opinion of her: “I spilled whiskey on my pedals.” A whiskey drinking, Waylon loving woman with a strong voice that’s been compared to that of Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette? Seems like the real deal to me. Playing a solo acoustic set, she announced that it was something she normally never does, but that she agreed to because Spiritualized offered her the spot on this condition and that she, being a fan, was not about to say no to J. Spaceman. While I’d be keen on seeing her with a full band, I’ve got to say her songs work quite well in the stripped down format. She might want to consider doing this more often.
Jason Pierce is also the real deal, in that the Spiritualized mastermind is always true to his vision. A Spritualized record is going to sound like a Spiritualized record, even when he makes a conscious effort to make a more “pop” album, as he did with their latest, Sweet Heart Sweet Light. And a Spiritualized show is going to sound like a Spiritualized show. That is, loud, epic, spacey … if you’ve been to one of their shows you know what I’m talking about. The band’s trademark blend of psychedelia, gospel, and rock’n’roll attitude works well and sounds great live. Pierce didn’t really say much or even move much from the spot he was standing on, but he didn’t really have to. The music speaks for itself.
Speaking of speaking for yourself, I feel the need to go on another rant about concert behaviour that annoys me. Now I’m really not one to begrudge someone if they’re enjoying a concert, but the guy who was standing next to me for a few songs might want to tone it down a notch. During the band’s performance of “Lay Back In The Sun,” this guy shouted out what I feel were a few too many “woo’s” throughout the song. Look, I get that you approve of the line “Good dope, good fun,” but really I think one “woo” for the first time you hear that is sufficient. Any more than that and you’re veering into concert douchebag territory. Also, stop yelling out “DO IT!” while the band is jamming. Do what? They’re already doing it and doing it well. What more do you want?