By James Currie
You’d never know that the band, Ride, hasn’t been together for almost 20 years after seeing and hearing their live performance at the Riviera Theatre tonight. As of last year, the band has only played a hand full of shows since their heyday in the 90’s. A small reunion tour led to this full blown experience. We were one of the lucky ones to witness this amazing concert in a place where they made history nearly 25 year earlier in at a historic show in Chicago.
The night started with a flash. The stage darkened. A haze of blue light accented the scene followed by a bombardment of strobes and a sonic wall of guitars, amplifiers and unabashing drums. It was the song, “Leave Them All Behind”, from the 1992 album, Going Blank Again, a track that helped propel Ride into that of noise pop / shoegaze legend they became. They sounded like no time had passed at all. It was tight, loud and clear – Ride have returned.
If you’re not familiar with Ride, here’s a little back story. They are a alternative pop-rock band from England. Formed in 1988 by Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Loz Colbert and Steve Querait. They were part of the original “shoegazer” scene with others like Slowdive, Lush, Chapterhouse, and My Bloody Valentine. It’s music that is heavily pedal driven effects (see photos of the amazing pedal boards), ethereal vocals and stoic live stage performances. Ride produced four studio albums before calling it quits in the mid 90’s. The band fell apart in 1996, due to a few factors, but mainly musical direction differences.
At least on this tour, and especially tonight, those differences have been resolved, or at least put aside, as Ride are back and bringing it out the masses. There has been a huge buzz around town for this show and it proved right as the house was packed.
Ride played 18 songs to the packed house. They rocked out various tracks from their catalogue that included, “Polar Bear” from their 1990 debut “Nowhere”, to later songs like “Black Nite Crash” from their final album, “Tarantula”.
In a town where there is never a shortage of shows going on, Ride proved they can still pack the house, compete and draw them in with the best of them. They are back on the top of their game and it was a real pleasure to see and hear them live again. If they come through your town, or anywhere near, you need to make it out for it. You won’t regret it if you do, but will if you don’t and hear about it from your friends the next day.
For more information on Ride, the tour and their music, click here.
For photos from this show at the Riv, click here.
Ride at the Riviera Theatre
September 25th, 2015