By Harrison Kristoff
The Vic Theatre was a retro blaze last night of 90’s alternative rock as Ride and The Charlatans UK co headlined a gig in Chicago. The attention for this started months ago when online social media hype promoted the announcement of their North American tour was released. College radio and local buzz brought back the sounds of Gen X college days with song like “The Only One I Know”, “Sproston Green” and “Then” from The Charlatans UK and “Vapour Trail”, “Leave Them All Behind” and “Chelsea Girl” from Oxford’s own, Ride. Most of which were heard live and in person during this event.
On this night, Ride kicked it all off rolling through their seminal album, “Nowhere” from start to finish. Starting with “Seagull” running through all eight tracks ending with “Vapour Trail”. From there, we got the hits, “Taste”, “Here and Now”, “Nowhere” and ending with the track that hooked most Ride fans, “Leave Them All Behind”. This one brought tears to eyes and me, goosebumps. It’s one of those songs that just brings back all the memories and feels from a time long ago. We also heard a new track of an upcoming release called, “Monaco”. An upbeat, almost 4 minute, power pop song with hints of the early years with fast beats, droning bass lines and just the right amount of effects reminiscent of the Cult’s mid 80’s era. Ride played for 90 minutes, which as you’ll read later in this review was much longer than Charlatans set.
A brief set change and The Charlatans UK took over and played their 1992 album, ‘Between 10th & 11th. An album produced by legendary producer, Flood. Fronted by the always charismatic and bubbly Tim Burgess, “I Don’t Want To See The Sights” rang through the vintage Chicago theatre kicking the album off. The songs continued until about mid album when from some reason, “The End of Everything” and “Subtitle” were missing from this performance of classic albums live and instead went from “Tremelo Song” to “Can’t Be Bothered”. Maybe a time constraint? No matter, they continued through the end of the album ending with “(No One) Not Even The Rain” before pausing and jumping back into their hits.
First up with “You’re So Pretty – We’re So Pretty” off the bands 2001 album, “Wonderland” followed by “Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over” off 1995’s self titled album, “The Charlatans”. More hits from their debut album, ‘Some Friendly’ come in with “The Only One I Know” and ending with the tracks that put them on the top of the pops, “Then” and “Sproston Green”. Curiously missing from this shorter set (about an hour fifteen) was any newer music from the bands BMG catalogue. Nothing from 2015’s, “Modern Nature” or 2017’s, “Different Days”. And no new songs. I was hoping for new music as it’s been over five years since the bands last release but we did get a surprise collaboration on “North Country Boy” as Andy Bell, of Ride (and a myriad of other bands including Oasis & Beady Eye) joined in on the solo solidifying the bands co-headlining partnership.
Over all the night was a success by any bands standards. The house was packed as it sold out long ago. The only real complaints were no new music from either band and ridiculously low lighting on the stage and slightly heavy smoke from the fog machines. I really wanted to see the band’s faces and details while singing and talking to us. Not sure if that was a band call or the house, but note for next time, bump it up guys.
For more on The Charlatans UK, click here
For photos from The Charlatans UK at The Vic, click here
For more on Ride, click here
For photos from Ride at the Vic, click here