Monday, November 10, 1997

Fan Review: St. Andrew's Hall 1997

St. Andrew's Hall
Detroit, Michigan, USA
November 10, 1997

"Tell me what you've seen, was it a dream, was I in it?" - On Your Own

The following story is TRUE. The names have not been changed because we're all guilty as sin. Don't deny it !! Thank god someone else posted the setlists, because my pen ran dry at St Andrews and my Toronto setlist looks like a grid of scribbles and scratches. So this account of the shows has little accurate information about the music they played, it's just full of details about the one thing I know about - ME! After all, a self absorbed review is the precedent ;-)

First off, when I made my hotel reservations for D a month ago, the city was booked up as far away as the airport. Some convention. I found a co-pilot at the last minute, and knew my chances of exchanging my single room for a double were slim. While checking in, the phone rings and it's someone wishing to downsize their double to a single. From here on I've got a really good feeling about this night, my first Verve show.

Got to the venue around 6:30, circled and found a parking spot on the street, behind the hall. As we passed in front of St Andrews, a film crew has just started interviewing some dude for the documentary. Glad I wasn't the one they chose to have to choke out some wise words on the spot, as I was a bit cold footed, but that was soon to change... Walked inside Steve's Place and found Joe easily: He was wearing the same shirt I was. Settled quickly into a few Labatts, shooting the shit with Joe, his friend (owen?), and Mark, who spur of the moment came up alone, and had scored a ticket already for $20. After a bit Devin joined us (keep going bro! I think we're giving Kentucky a good name), but since he was still looking for a ticket, he only stayed for one. Round about 8:30 I've got my jungle noises working and it's time to get eerie, which we did Spiccoli-style in the van. Headed for the queue, I see Devin just crossing into the pearly gates, "Nice Ticket!" I yell, and he says William Stearns had one for him and generously kicked it down. Well I'll be. That was one of the extra tickets I mailed to William...

Gravitated up front-Left, in front of the speakers. The Deejay was flexing the volume pretty well, ear plugs to the rescue, I can stand where others dare not. By the time Wayne played 'Super Stupid' I was mad for it, jumping hysterically; Security had to make me settle down, as the show hadn't started yet. A few songs later the slide show put up the words "Holy are You" and I shouted out "There is no God but YOU!!" to which I received quite a few looks. Well the madman in me keeps shouting and pointing to every pair of eves "And You, and you...." Shortly after, the band came on, the lights went dark, and then BOOM----BOOM we're rolling! Fucking HUGE. deeply grroovey Catching, Willow created such a strong tone and mood. Ever since I first _really_ wanted to see Verve I've wanted to hear This is Music, and it satisfied that deep need. Sonnet was good, but there was no Wailing guitar before the "dreaming bout the day when I can see you there by my side, by my side" (2:22 into the track, I think) Finally by BSS the buzzcut Gorrilla watching us got called away, and I fired up the 'Kentucky Toothpick' I had squeezed into its wooden holder. Passed it around to some strangers, and when the song ended it was very quiet, so I yelled out "Hey Jonesey!" and held out the doob, like "you wanna hit this?" He nodded emphatically and on my first attempt to throw it to him I dropped it. Picked it up off the floor, and this time it landed at his feet probably scorched the rug. He hit it, passed it to Richey, and hit it again. There's a saying I like to use, instead of "Being on the same page as someone," I say "Smoking from the same bag." So there you have it. my five minutes.

I can see now why many folks say Reprise is a highlight... larger than life. My biggest impression was Richard reminded me of one of those rubber Gumby dolls, he had no bones, just a flexible wire as he contorted himself into twists spaghetti would have a tough time with. I think it was during History the cameraman pointed that thing at me, as I stared into infinity mumbling the words... The sound was overextended, esp. on On Your Own, when one guitar was all they could crank.

After the show I made my way to the car and was sucking down a couple quarts of water when from behind me a bus passes by, and it honks. Cheers Mates! I raised a toast to our rotten souls..

It was so loud, even with my earplugs, I was in my own bubble the next morning as I sat eating breakfast, watching CNN run a story on people who lose their hearing from loud music...
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Jason Alex
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To all true verve fans looking for concert reviews or getting an idea to what the set list may be consisted of. If you are or are not familiar with St. Andrews Hall it is arguably the best place to see a show in Detroit. The show was sold out with many stragglers looking for tickets minutes before the show. For one of my lads, he heard two girls talking about how they were on the guest list. It turned out they had room for two more people, so my friend jumped in and told the girl he would give her twenty bucks to get in. Done deal. Now it was a matter of time before the verve took the stage. We were packed like sardines in the place all jittery and anxiously awaiting. Let me remind you that the last American show performed by the verve was in Detroit before there urban hymns tour. That's a whole other story brother... Anyway while waiting for the show to begin, the verve had two screens hanging from the balcony and had pictures of various things on them, including a few set lists of previous shows which definitely was a tease. Anyway lets get to the point. Simon led the brigade on stage with Richard wearing winter coat with a fury hood and wearing a Detroit, Michigan ringer t-shirt. The first sound out of the Marshall stacks was a booming drum beat with corresponding light flashes that exploded into the Rolling People. I have to admit that this was one of the best of the night. After rolling people they went right into Catching the Butterfly which also was phenomenal. During these two songs my group was about half way back from the stage to the exit of the ballroom. The hall consists of a balcony over the entire floor overlooking the stage and the hall consists of one main floor which holds about 1000 people. A local radio station sponsored or propagandized the show so some how some way many people who maybe shouldn't have been there were. Either that or they all took downers before the show and then felt like the dog just died. I mean there wasn't much movement. Therefore when the next song after C.T.B. came on which was THIS IS MUSIC I rushed toward the stage finding the thinnest seam in a hookers jeans. I made it to about 5 rows of people from the stage jumping up in down and when I looked in front of me and around me I found I was surrounded by girls who didn't know what the fuck was up being born with a silver spoon. There were a couple us generating some energy but either people didn't the song or they were trippin their balls off to where they couldn't move.

The reason I am going into detail about the crowd is because I believe this influenced the verve's set list. Because of a more mellow crowd I think Richard saw an opportunity to experiment with new songs to get a crowd reaction. After this is music they played four a five new ones in a row not in this particular order: Bitter Sweet Symphony, Sonnet, The Drugs Don't Work, Weeping Willow. I know I'm being critical but I wish they would have mixed it up a little more maybe playing She's a Superstar or A man called sun. I definitely got the impression that at that point int time they were going for a mellower mood so why not play something off the EP (except G/G). Before Sonnet which I believe was the last one in that list of four songs they did bust into slide away which once again defines the incredible sound with Richard's clear sounding vocals. After the last U.H.song of that portion of the show, Richard went for a drink of water and there was a slight pause in the show. Talking with Peter and Simon, Richards steps to the mic. and states "Life's an Ocean" and that baseline that gets me every time was blastin' on the speakers and it began. This and the next song which was STORMY CLOUDS were drawn out intense version where McCabe magically created psychedelic and non-terrestrial sounds that seemed like they were at a Million Decibels. With the incredible sounds and lights, Richard also was in his own infinite dimension world. The band walked off leaving McCabe draining every last sound out of his guitar into the air. These two songs were just incredible.

Richard then stepped out with his acoustic which he played previously on SONNET and THE DRUGS DON'T WORK, and started into a solo ON YOUR OWN. This caught me off guard, but when the first line was sung, it struck my on your own times and my emotions were flowing. This song was a treat. You know when you walk out of a show and you talk about all those songs that stick out and then there's one that mostly everyone forgets in then one person says "You what was good, On Your Own" and the response is , Yeah now that was awesome. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway after that, if my memory serves me correctly the next song they played was HISTORY. Actually, with the orchestra in the backing on the album version, and the live version with a heavy bass and drums, it was pretty good but definitely not at its full potential. Verve fans if you have noticed there has not been an incredible amount of full verve jams until Richard stepped to the mic after history and said "Its time for a NEW DECADE and the radio play is the sounds we made. As a few in the crowd erupted the movement in the crowd of 89xsers were weak but I was not going to let this bring me down. Richard then stated to the crowd how Detroit has been great all the times they've played (compared to the northern soul tour and palooza the crowd sure in hell didn't show it) and that he loved Detroit and promised to return. Then they did a rendition of LUCKY MAN which was another great song. With a few in the crowd and even some cheeseball holding up a cardboard sign wanting G/G Simon played the first six notes in trickery just to tease the crowd. I must get to class so I have to cut short in detail. The song after lucky man which would be there last was a psychedelic wall of sound which had Richard using up every last bit of energy to get the crowd to COME ON.

Set list:

1. The Rolling People
2. Catching the Butterfly
3. This is Music
4. Bitter Sweet Symphony
5. Weeping Willow
6. Slide Away
7. The Drugs Don't Work
8. Sonnet
9. Life's An Ocean
10. Stormy Clouds
encore
11. On Your Own
12. History
13. A New Decade
14. Lucky Man
15. Come On
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Evan 
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Hey Rolling People...

How's YOUR vibe today? Mine is pretty nice since I've spent the last week in ecstasy...Detroit on Monday, Chicago on Thursday...today is Saturday and I'm still buzzing.

DETROIT

My first thought when I woke up that morning was, I made it till Monday...what an awesome show! Got some decent pictures of Simon and Richard going into St. Andrew's before the show. I couldn't bring my camera in so that's all I got on Monday. Plus a picture of me and Kate Radley. She seemed a bit "distracted" and the picture wasn't all that great, but she signed my ticket, so that's cool. While I was waiting outside, I heard the boys play Velvet Morning as a sound check. But they didn't play it!!

Opening with Rolling People was a fantastic choice! The light show was great! I was definitely pumped to get crazy at that show. Loved the green and blue lighting for Catching the Butterfly, and the red lighting for the Drugs Don't Work. I was surprised that Rich played On Your Own. Still loved it though. Lucky Man sounded awesome live. Richard was really talkative during the show. You could tell he was happy to play there. I was so happy that they played Slide Away. Nice tease there that Simon did with the bass line for Gravity Grave. I was about ready to die when I heard that. Cheers to the guy who threw that lit joint on stage. Simon picked it up and hit it so fast, he was a blur of movement. Come On was incredible. I think everyone on the floor surged forward about 6 feet when that song started. I was happily crushed. Wish I could say more about the show but nothing comes to mind at the moment. DID ANYONE GET A GOOD BOOT OF THIS SHOW?! I know of three people who made a copy and they said that the bass was too much and drowned out everything. I WOULD REALLY LIKE A COPY OF THIS SHOW. Please write to me if you got a good copy.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Sarah