28 July 1995

Fan Review: 9:30 Club 1995

9:30 Club
Washington, DC, USA
July 28, 1995

The Verve live at the old 9:30 Club
Washington, DC

I had been looking forward to this show for two years and the band did not disappoint. The 9:30 Club, at this time, was in the middle of downtown DC and was a little hole-in-the-wall kind of place that only held about 400 people. We got there early, before they opened the doors to the main room. When they finally did open the doors, I was able to walk right up to the front of the stage, right between where Richard and Simon would soon take their places.

Hum opened and played well, though nobody really seemed to care. Finally, the lights went down, smoke started to fill the stage, and "Rock On" blasted through the PA. The band took the stage and immediately cranked into A New Decade. Just before Nick's guitar exploded into the song, Richard held up a dollar bill and screamed "It's all for fucking money!" This is the setlist as best I can remember it, though it may not be in the right order.

A New Decade
Slide Away
This Is Music
The Rolling People
Come On
Man Called Sun
Life's an Ocean
She's a Superstar
Gravity Grave & Echo Bass
Drugs Don't Work (Richard solo acoustic)
On Your Own
The Sun, the Sea

The whole vibe was completely different than the Storm in Heaven tour. Instead of staring off into space, Richard and Simon were constantly looking the audience directly in the eyes and screaming "Come on!" and other such things. The show was much more upbeat and confrontational than the previous show I had seen. The sound was amazing, but there seemed to be some tension between Nick and Richard.

She's a Superstar and Gravity Grave remain to this day as the most amazing performances I've ever witnessed. The Sun, the Sea was the perfect finale to this incredible show, with Richard singing "There's a storm in heaven! There's a storm in Washington!" The Verve definitely lived up to the hype this night. I remember getting into my car after the show, and A Northern Soul was in the tape player. After what I had just witnessed, it sounded like a toy version. The Verve was definitely a live band.
  • By Stephen Galloway