Monday, August 17, 1998

Fan Review: Jon's Verve Experience 1992-1998

Jon's Verve Experience

The early period with them doing old "Man Called Sun" on the back of a pickup truck in New York City is really a good reminder of how Verve was. That is how I remember them. The druggie "Blue" video, the grainy lost highway video for "Gravity Grave", and the early over the top near religious psychedelic performances.

I got into a 1993 gig through a friend getting Richard to put me on the guest list at the Rockcandy in Seattle, Washington on November 19th. I can't for the life of me remember why but I have an un-used ticket stub for a gig in 1995 at Moe's in Seattle. What was I thinking?

I saw them in Portland, Oregon the night after at La Luna on November 20th and it was different...not as awe striking. They definitely could change from night to night but, even though I remember it not being as out there as Seattle (about 100 people were there) the Portland show was very communal. You could dance around like you were at Woodstock and no one cared. They drew a really large age group of fans back then...real music freaks and some very stoned people.

By 1997 I was disillusioned with Urban Hymns being mainstream but in retrospect it was a good gig at the Snowbox in Seattle on November 15th.

One of my best memories was flying to England in August 1997 to see their reunion gig at the Reading Festival on the 24th. It was godlike and I was almost crushed to death. Richard came on stage yelling "Imagine watching the main stage tonight when you could be in here." Marilyn Manson and Metallica were playing on the main stage at the time. Good 'ole Richard!

I also saw one of the strange non Nick McCabe gigs in 1998. I had tickets and planed a whole summer vacation around the Red Rocks Colorado show and they moved it to an indoor place! Then they announced Nick wasn't playing and I was devastated...never bothered finishing the road trip with them. I still have unused tickets from 95, Red Rocks, and the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco 1998. I did manage to see their final show at the Mercer Arena in Seattle on August 17th which was the last one of their American Tour...it was sad, very sad for an old time fan...not because it was the end but because Nick wasn't their. Richard tried hard to bring the verve feeling on, but had to rely mostly on his acoustic solo versions and I believe they even dropped "Come On" from the encore. The crowd had become frat boys and kids by the time "Bitter Sweet Symphony" came on and then...it was over. Richard is great solo but not even close to the verve shows.

Being in my mid twenty's, 10 years ago having my friend call me on Halloween in 1992 telling me his life had been changed by a band called Verve in a small club in New York City, I knew i was going to see something special, something that happens once in many years. The Verve had it, and each phase of their short life was different...long live The Verve.
  • By Jon