Jason Pierce brought his evangelical Britpop noise-rock outfit Spiritualized to Detroit’s Majestic Theatre Friday, turning up the volume during a two-hour show that saw the band performing material from its new album, “Sweet Heart Sweet Light,” as well as classics from the band’s 20-year catalog.
The thrill of a Spiritualized show is the way Pierce and his bandmates slowly build noisy, cacophonous jams one element at a time. They did so numerous times Friday; opener “Hey Jane,” a mid-show “Mary” and closer “Cop Shoot Cop,” for example, all started slow and transformed into fuzzy, distortion-laced rattlers. Others weren’t as successful, and a mid-show lull dipped the energy in the room and for a while, the show began to drag.
Pierce, aka J. Spaceman, was as aloof as always, performing with a profound disinterest in the crowd or living up to the role of frontman of a rock and roll outfit. He performed facing his band, not the audience, he rarely moved and he hardly acknowledged the fans at all. It wasn’t until he uttered two “thank you’s” at the end of his set that he even spoke to the room. (There were two more “thank you’s” after the encore, bringing his grand total of words spoken during the show to eight.)
But that’s the gig with Spiritualized, and fans know what they’re getting at the group’s shows. Spiritualized has made no adjustments to their show or to their music to reach out past their core followers, and for the initiated, that’s just fine.