Friday, July 22, 1994

Fan Review: Deer Creek Music Center 1994

Lollapalooza
Deer Creek Music Centre
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
July 22, 1994

The No Come Down compilation had just been released in the U.S. to conjure interest in The Verve. They were playing Lollapalooza's Second Stage during the summer of 1994. The release of No Come Down was great for me, as I'd had trouble tracking down all of their singles in Indiana, where I was attending school.

The turnout for their Second Stage set was surprising. There were tons of people waiting for them to take the stage. Had word spread about their amazing live shows or were people just interested in hearing something new? There's no doubt the band converted some newcomers into fans during this performance.

It had been less than a year since my last Verve gig, but a transformation had taken place within the band. Their haircuts were short. Richard looked like he'd lost about 20 pounds. And there was a keyboard player with them this time around. I actually have a few pictures from this show. You can barely make out the band. Richard was wearing a homemade baseball sleeved T-shirt with “I Love Indianapolis” ironed on the front.

Several songs indicated the band was heading in a rockier, more muscular direction. The blissed-out atmospherics of A Storm in Heaven were taking a back seat to the Northern Soul vibe they were developing. The set was loud and tight. They debuted Mover, The Rolling People and This Is Music during the show. Having these new, rougher tracks mixed into the set helped standards such as Slide Away, Make It 'Til Monday and The Sun, The Sea sound even more unique and majestic. Gravity Grave closed the set as always.

Even today – eight years later – I have vivid memories of this day. Looking back, the combination of sights, sounds and circumstances was perfect. I'd found a band that could do no wrong. It was summer, and I had virtually no responsibilities. I had no idea, as I listened to those songs within a sea of swaying people, under a clear blue sky, that it would never feel this good again.
  • By Jonathan Cohen