Saturday, November 1, 1997

Fan Reviews: Roxy Theatre 1997 (3)

Roxy Theatre
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
November 1, 1997

Whoa...

I don't even know where to begin.

this is going to be one long post, so be ready..................

The weather had been intense all day, lightning at times, threatening, and then sunny gorgeous.....a storm in Atlanta, folks....perfect for the Verve's first US tour date in two years....nature was talking to us....

Devin came by my place before the show.......he gave me my trip shirt and we talked about verve for a long time, about what it meant to us, etc.

We headed downtown towards Buckhead around 3, listening to Hultsfred 94, it was the coolest thing because it started pouring and the highway was misty but then the sun came out and we were listening to the sun, the sea.....yesterday was just one huge metaphor......

As we were driving towards Buckhead, we saw this giant bus and we followed it and when it stopped, I got out and pounded on the door.... the driver told me that Verve was in the Roxy doing a soundcheck...so we went inside. Oh my god, I heard A Northern Soul and I got to my knees and listened to it.....some security guard said are you with The Verve and i said yes. She told me that I wasn't and asked me to leave. At that moment Christopher, who is the band's photographer, he did the black and white photo on UH, came out and I walked right up to him and started talking to him, so she couldn't toss me... I told him that Verve had been my life for the last little while, he told me that I needed to get out more often... Devin had brought a bag with 10 trip shirts for the band and we gave it to them with a card that had two joints in it too. Chris thought it was cool and he promised he would give it to the band...

We met up with Cole, Gavin, and Misty at the Hampton Inn.....it was so cool to meet some devoted fans like them....people willing to go across the country to see the verve......you guys rock......

We smoked, drank, walked around Atlanta for a little while and Douglas met up with us too before the show....

We took the hotel shuttle over to the Roxy, these guys were in the shuttle and we told them that we were going to see Verve, they said, oh, I've heard of the Verve Pipe...we started messing with them, saying, oh yeah, Verve Pipe is just so much better, we are all going to be at that show too....HA!

the Atlanta show was made mostly of Verve fans, very few BSS-heads, so to speak....the doors opened at 7 and there were probably 50 people inside waiting.....

i hung around near were all of the band people were going in and out, i guess i was making a nuisance of myself, but it paid off folks....Cole made this really cool glass hand that he brought to give to the band and he wanted to give it to them, but security was being a bitch....so I waited and waited, i saw Kate Radley leaving and I stopped her and i said, you're Kate Radley aren't you? My friend needs a little help, he made this gift for the band...so Cole explained his situation and she took the statue....she said that we could speak to the band afterward, she said ok, Cole and Laura, Cole and Laura.....

I still hung around though, talked with Pete, their producer/stage manager or something....I begged him to give me a copy of the set list, he said just to be at the front after the show and he would do that, he was a man of his words my friends.....

I was up very close to the front and eventually got to the very front....

oh yeah, i met Enoc, Eric Wagner, and some other listees too, very cool people, sorry i didn't get to talk with you more, i was kinda flipping out...

here is the set list

A New Decade
Slide Away
This is Music
Life's An Ocean
On Your Own
TDDW
A Northern Soul
Man Called Sun
Sonnet
Rolling Peole
Stormy Clouds
----------
BSS
History
Lucky Man
Come On

it was like the a northern soul tour....i admit, i had been neglecting ANS for a little while, but i can't even begin to describe how the show was for me, my first time ever seeing the Verve live, i remembered all of those songs, all of the people, places, and events i associated with those songs....to hear Slide Away, ahhhhh, shivers, i was so happy to hear something from ASIH....i was crying during on your own because that is where it all began for me, i remembered how that was my first verve song i ever heard, how the band has been my mouthpiece for my soul, expressing things in ways that i can't express myself in, how much the music has meant to me....

i was yelling at Nick McCabe, i started the nick McCabe appreciation cheers, he was happy for that, i think....that he really meant a lot to us and that he came back to make the verve happen again...

oh yeah, that was me, floating in the air at times courtesy of Douglas, so if i was ever blocking your view at times, sorry....

a northern soul was very intense....great....i admit i am a Sonnet basher, but it is so different live, it is not as cheesy sounding live as it is on UH.....they kind of did the stormy clouds reprise after stormy clouds.....

one of the things i noticed was that Richard Ashcroft didn't interact with the crowd that much....essentially, the set list was the same as hammersmith except for sonnet and lucky man and lucky man was added i am sure because of the single's release.....

I can't even begin to describe how great the show was.....very intense, the crowd for the most part were Verve fans, so it was a good atmosphere....

We had hoped that they would have kept playing but we were pretty much pushed out after the show....Pete the manager guy was true to his word, he put the set list directly in my hand over everybody else who was grabbing for it....it was Nick's....

I went around to the back in hopes of talking to the band....I was threatened to be arrested if i didn't move to the other side, I told her "one way to go".....she said, yeah, that will be the way you are going to go...she didn't get it, obviously....

There were autograph seekers waiting around for awhile, but eventually they left....a few of us diehards stayed around. I was there for 2 hours in the cold and rain. I got my set list autographed, but i didn't really get to talk to the band. the band minus Richard came off the bus and went into the Roxy, nick acknowledged me as the crazy who was like Nick McCabe is the verve, i shook his hand....

these kids from South Carolina stole nick's bag with his clothes in it, so nick will be pretty pissed i think for the rest of the trip....

All in all, my life has been changed forever. thanks to the band for putting out real music, for all of the people that came to Atlanta, for all of the people who waited in hopes of talking with the band. you all made it a very special day for me.....

Laura

------------------------------

Another Atlanta

Phew...

Just got my first night of real sleep since the show last weekend.

As Cole mentioned in his review the vibes were with us in the flight over from San Francisco- there was a storm in heaven that night as we flew above the electrical storm on the way to Atlanta. The Roxy was the perfect size place to see Verve -they said it held 1300 but it looked a lot more like 900-1000 capacity. The Roxy is an old art-deco movie theatre that has been converted to a live music venue in Atlanta's Buckhead district-very cool. We milled around the hotel talking to Verve fans before the show- it was especially cool for me to finally meet Devin W. from Ohio who I have been friends with via telephone for almost two years now...... after spending time with the Verve fans I went to an early dinner at a Barbeque place across from the Roxy, I finished eating and went out to have a smoke- there were some roadies for the band eating there and I struck up a conversation with the soundman- I asked him how everything was going-- he told me that Verve would be back to the states in the spring for another headlining tour... As I was finishing my conversation with him I saw the band getting off the bus , I cut across the parking lot and I guess nobody saw them so I walked up alone to Pete, Nick McCabe, and the two Simons'- I just said right on- they turned and said hello- I told them I flew out from San Fran to see the opening night and Simon Jones said "thanks alot man" and shook my hand -Nick nodded his head and smiled- what gents- very cool indeed. The show was amazing!!! The set list was the same as the summer shows with the addition of lucky man....it was easily the best performance of the 3 times I have seen them play live....The pre-show was great with 2 screens showing slides of the Band and various other images, the DJ was great- he played a great set of Funkadelic, T.Never Knows, and 2 CAN SONGS!!! The Verve have a full blown production crew this time with their own sound and lighting crew- the lights were fantastic!! The show was amazing everyone was just screaming when they came on, Richard did many of his "come on's!!!" Best song of the night was Rolling People, for me..... We heard that Richard had a touch of flu, but you could not tell.......

Don't miss em,

Ready for more shows in LA and San Fran

Gavin
------------------------------ 

And Atlanta......

I was, and still am, recovering from my weekend. In fact, I stayed in from school yesterday, and I almost went today. Missed an exam yesterday, but I really can't be bothered to drive the 15 minute drive to school. I'm sooooo sore. My arms and back and knees and neck. I didn't sleep at all this weekend.

Oh yeah, the Verve. Did I tell you that I saw them this weekend? We got an incredible hotel room about a mile down the road from the Roxy, where the show was. It's in a part of Atlanta called Buckhead, which is comparable to Camden. It's the Camden of Atlanta. Wall to wall bars and clubs and and drunks. It's nice. It's kinda up scale though. Lots of rich people driving around in their Benzes and BMW's trying to avoid running over the drunk people. Elton John actually lives there most of the year, as do many other rich, gay celebrities. So I guess it's not that similar to Camden. Where as Camden has students and kids, Buckhead has yuppies and frat boys. It's nice though.

Anyway, like I said, we got a extremely nice hotel. It had one of those fish ponds with the giant Japanese goldfish in it on the bottom level atrium, and an indoor and outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, free made to order breakfast, and a beautiful view of the city. It only cost us $129.00 a night, which divided up among all of us turned out to be nothing. We ate about $500.00 worth of free food alone. And they had an OPEN BAR between 5:30 and 7:00, which we took full advantage of. We got one room for all of us, which turned out to be about 15 or so people. It was a big room. It had a big living room with a fold out couch, a bedroom with with two double beds, and two bathrooms. All of the times I've been to England, they've charged us by the number of people in out hotel room, which was odd to us. Here, if you're discrete, you can jam as many people into a hotel room as possible, which we did.

So during the day on Saturday, we all stayed in the hotel and drank and drank and drank and went for a swim and drank and got in the hot tub (which Gib and Wes sick in) and then drank some more. By the way, all the kids who went with us were Me, Isaac, Jena, Gib, Wes, Zack, David, Tara, Jen, one of Jen and Tara's friends, some blonde girl I didn't know, Kurt, this guy named George (who is the coolest guy I've ever met in my life), and a couple more I can't remember.

We made sure that we had plenty of drugs. All different types. I took E, and I know someone else did, but I can't remember who. A few other people took acid, a few more took DXM, and we had an ounce of kind bud between us all, which we finished in one night.

Ok, so we consumed all this stuff, and walked down to the Roxy. It was great fun trying to run across four lanes of heavy traffic on E. It was raining, which made it even better. We got there, and it was packed.

The Roxy seats about 3000. The downstairs is standing room only, and there is an upstairs is a theatre like balcony which hold about 1000. All of us who were on acid or DXM went upstairs to sit, and the rest of us went downstairs to freak out, dance, and act stoopid. There was no opening act, instead there was a slide show which showed them making the new album intercut with pictures of George Clinton, Pete Townsend, James Brown, car wrecks, camel races, naked women, while all the time playing music picked by the Verve, I'm guessing. It was kind of like Primal Scream's slide show, if you've ever seen that. It got everyone, especially the people on drugs (about 75% of the people there) really jittery and on edge. Then they finally came out at about 9:30 or 10:00 and everyone went nuts. Most of the people there seemed to be pretty big Verve fans, singing along to most of the songs, and screaming old and rare songs for them to play, which they of course did not. Actually, right as they came on, I started jumping up and down so I could get a good look at them, and then I put my hands on the shoulders of these two guys in front of me, and then pushed off of them so I could jump about five feet higher, and they got pissed off at me. I was too happy to really think too much of it. The rest of the show was a blur. Lights, music, people, screaming, Richard jumping around. Towards the end of the show, he put on a hooded sweat shirt, pulled the hood over his head, grabbed his shoes off the ground, and started smacking them together in the air, which I though was funny. I wish I could tell you more about the show itself, but I just don't remember much. They played all the songs that people expected. Closed with Come On. It was one of the best shows I've been to in a while, probably since I saw Beck at Glastonbury.

After the show, I spotted Laura, and I waved her down. She introduced me to Devin, and (I'm sorry I can't remember your names. The drugs, you know) a few more list people. When I said to meet us outside, we all went out there. It was too crowed right in front of the Roxy, we went across the street into that little park thing, and started screaming for you guys. We never saw you, so we waited a few minutes, and then we started walking back to the hotel.

We got back to the hotel, and there was a bunch of kids who looked like ravers siting in the lower atrium of the hotel drinking. Turns out Rabbit and the Moon played somewhere in town that night too. They were about as messed up as we were, so we hung out with them, and drank and smoked more. Then we found this group of high school girls from Chicago who had never been to the south before, and we invited them into our, um, well I guess by this time you could call it a party. The best thing about this hotel was the fact that they were so non-intrusive. We were loud, and we smoked out our room many times, and we kept spitting over the edge of the balcony on people in the atrium below, and the hotel management never said a word.

We swam some more, drank, played video games, played pool, danced, and had pretty hedonisic time. We eventually met these drunk Irish rugby players, and we hung out with them. We took them back to our room, and let them try inhaling some of our nitrous, which they had never done before. One of them passed out, and we thought he was dead. All of his friends were so high on the laughing gas that they just stood there and laughed while we though we had just killed him. He eventually came to his senses, and we were relieved, as you can imagine. Killing an Irish rugby player probably would have gotten us in some trouble.

We put on the daft punk cd, and my friend Issac totally lost his mind. He did some nitrous, put a plastic bag over his head, and started dancing around like a chicken who had just smoked crack. I think that was the funniest thing I had ever seen in my life. He dance for about 20 minutes, and we all just laid on the floor around him laughing so hard that I swear to God I thought I was going to die. It hurt so bad. I wanted to stop laughing, but I couldn't. My rib cage was about to burst. The way he was dancing in perfect sync to daft punk just killed me. He would do karate kicks, and break dance moves, and then he got some glow sticks and started whipping us with them. None of us could take it. After that, the Irish told us that we were the weirdest people that they had ever met, and we actually exchanged addresses. The same thing with the girls from Chicago.

We kept all of this up for a few more hours, until most of us passed out. I stayed up talking to the Irish guys, who at first I thought were just a bunch of stupid rugby players, but who turned out to be pretty intelligent. Then everyone woke up, we all down for a big breakfast--eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, grits, pancakes, toast, bagels, tea, and OJ. Then we cleaned up the room, took showers, paid for the room, and went home.

There are loads of details that I've left out, either because I don't remember them, or they were too insignificant (ie, all the times we threw up). All said, it was one of the best weekends I've had in a while. The best thing about it was, as good as the Verve was, they were only the second best thing about the weekend, the first being all the things we did in the hotel. I doubt I'll do anything like this for a while. Actually, Oasis is coming in January, and although I don't really like them, most of my friends do, and I'm sure we'll go all out for that one too. So I suppose I should start saving my money now.

Write back soon. I look forward to your letters. They're about the only reason I still use the computer other than for school work. Hope to hear from y'all soon

LOVE

RYAN
------------------------------

And Atlanta.....

Butterfly catchers,

well, I'm back to my redundantly mundane day job, and all i can think about is the vibe that continues to run thru my brain. this weekend, and Saturday night was all about great things: great people road trippin' fer a great cause, in a great city, at a great venue, with the sole purpose of creating a great vibe with a GREAT! fucking band. the odd weather was poetic, and only helped to elevate the greatness to a higher level. amidst the stormy clouds and grey skies, laughter was plenty, and all smiles free(but you could get a real big smile with stickers). that *look* was around,.... you know, the "i know why yer here, and I'm here fer the same glorious event"-look. we even had "a storm in heaven" on the plane ride from SF to Atlanta! gavin and i peered out the windows to see a blanket of cloud lit up by randoms flics of nature's big-ass bic. and it was glorious; a light show to precede the one at the roxy.

it's wonderful to know that there are people who are willing to do things that most peeps(those who can't understand passion and zest for doin what you believe in, no matter what the costs) would consider wasteful.....what i consider wasteful is spending all yer time and hard earned money, not using it to truly follow your OWN heart. there were people who came from different cities, and all walks of life to witness a *moment* in time where history was made. karma, smiles and the occasional tears were flowin' heavy. it was very inspiring, and I'm sure the verve felt it. they played the longest set i've ever heard them play, and they were stoked the whole way thru(except nick, when his stuff was buggin' early on). it was very communal, as i met lots of peeps that had that common love for art.

i was reading a great (there's that word again:) book called "einstien's dreams" by alan lightman, on the plane, and it truly spoke the words of verve....it's all about livin'.....L-I-V-I-N!!!!

(laugh now, devin;)

and that passion for life; whatever "life" means to you, was the binding groove that brought most of the crowd to the roxy. it was pure beauty; to be there as the lights came on and NO ONE left....to see peter's face scrunch up as he was about to burst with happiness(more or less) while he pounded out the jams....to see si's fist and opened mouth screaming loud and proud as he saw the power he and his mates had over our souls at that *moment*.....having people I've never met before give me things they knew i would cherish, and knowing that i was doing my part to make that happen for others, too.....richard screaming without a mic, standing,arms up high, on peter's drum monitor during "come on". all in all, perhaps the greatest bout of "livin" I've done in a weekend.

i know that was long, but it's the condensed verve-sion of everything i was thinking(that the mushrooms didn't erase) about my experience of the first live gig in America from a band that called it quits a long 27 months ago. a big highlighted chapter in my book of stories, indeed.

one bummer; the kids who stole nick's stuff. however nice they were, that shit just wasn't right.and i wish that i got to say goodbye to douglas (hope you made it home safe bro), and also,i didn't meet up with captnswing and ryan collins(who i hear is a wild one; if you and yer friends and me and my friends got together.....chaos theory would have to take human form;)

lastly, there were a few peeps that i know of that should have been there:john ricci, ajay sharma, and the ever wondrous gina.....that vibe was meant for you.

it has begun:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

verveluv,

cole
------------------------------

Ummm, Atlanta....

most of it has already been said, but I'll contribute mine:

After a bizarre day of meeting fans in little five points and seeing flyposters for the show all over town, chaunacey, colin and i got there at about 9pm...i wish we had gotten there earlier to get in the front, but thanks to douglas ('you're from Texas? where? what does vmg.co.uk mean to you?' :P) i ended up there eventually...the whole experience was a bit overwhelming, since I'd been waiting four years to see them, so when we finally got inside the roxy i had to stave off tears of happiness...it was truly great to finally hear and see them live, although i handily agree, the roxy sound man should be SHOT. best songs imo were rolling people, life's an ocean, and come on...potboilers all. i couldn't help but be a bit disappointed with the loud crowd response to ddw and sonnet and the almost complete lack of ASIH songs (the ones that got me into verve), and the inclusion of 'lucky man' made it really evident that this is a 'business' tour. but it was still worth the plane ticket. :) afterwards by the tour bus it was great to spread more vervelove (we met some guys who *drove* from dallas at wax'n'facts in little five points and they hung around longer than we did), laura, douglas, cole, etc. and simon waved at me like the cute little awestruck kid he is. :) i would have liked to have been really off my rocker psychedelically speaking for this gig, but that's what the tour early next year is for! (and an aside - if you go to a gig and can't remember any of it because of how fucked up your are, maybe you should reevaluate your priorities. :) ) and a word of advice to those seeing them on the rest of this tour - especially if you've never seen them live, get there early and get to the front, it's a much more enjoyable experience than being squashed a few rows back. and i say this even though when i got up there i had my eyes closed most of the time anyway! :) anyway, vervelove and all that

Joanna
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website