Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Live Review - The Verve @ Theater at MSG
"It's a new decade!" spouted Richard Ashcroft as soon as he and his band mates took the stage for their second and final New York appearance on their small North American reunion tour. It has been a decade since I have wanted to see this band, the last time they played New York they were headlining the Madison Square Garden Arena with Massive Attack and the show was cancelled due to the bands split. However, after 10 years of soul searching, working things out and writing, the band is back and better than ever. Only playing five cities on this tour, I was lucky to be standing front row watching one of the band's that changed my views about music when I was a teenager. The Verve were not only on point and ready to show their fans that they were back, but they were there to prove to their fans they deserved to be back. Playing a majority songs off their 1997 breakthrough Urban Hymns, they even broke out songs from their very first record, the very obscure A Storm in Heaven. Ashcroft even joked about the bands psychedelic beginnings "We took acid on a Wednesday then wrote, recorded on a Thursday, the album was out that Monday, moral of the story musician's should not record when on acid." While the old songs like "Sonnet," "The Drug's Don't Work," "This is Music," and of course "Bittersweet Symphony," gave the crowd chills, it was the new songs that had everyone in awe. Playing two song's from the bands still untitled forthcoming release, The Verve showed they can still be radio friendly but also create something that can change the landscape of rock again, like they did a decade ago. The new songs sound like a hybrid of Depeche Mode laced beats with a flair from The Music. The record is expected to be released in August after being pushed back from this April. This concert was a decade in the making of waiting and hoping, after witnessing what myself and other's did last night, The Verve are back and are better than ever. In fact if their card's are dealt right, they will be bigger than ever.