11 November 1997

Fan Review: Phoenix Concert Theatre 1997

Phoenix Concert Theatre
Toronto, Canada
November 11, 1997

Toronto Dream

Well vervies last night was the long-awaited in my mind and for so many of us Torontonians the return of the "best band in the world" (RA quote). I have never ever left a concert feeling so at peace, so filled with this spiritual well being. I could hear the mumbles of so many others saying it was the best show ever. I had not been having a good day, I had a sleepless night, I was stressed out for school and other matters, it was cold, and last night was the first of flurries. We also had to wait two hours for the show to start, but I wanted to be early so I could be upfront. All of it was soon forgotten. There were two screens showing slides of the band, of quotes, and of other miscellaneous pictures that must mean something to the band. Finally the house lights when down, and as if I were in a dream the band walked on the stage, Richard in some parka with fur, strutting like he knew that he would affect us like never before. With his opening words "A new decade, the radio plays the songs we made", the band in a wild enthusiasm began to play, and I knew this night would be unforgettable. I wish to post the whole set list, but I don't remember what order the songs went. I can list them though: this is music, catching the butterfly, (replacing man called sun I suppose), slide away(!!), rolling people, sonnet, weeping willow, life's an ocean, the drugs don't work, stormy clouds, reprise, on your own (I cried during this) bittersweet symphony, lucky man, history, come on.

*Richard at one point thanked all the people who came to see them the last, then he thanked all his new friends...see he accepts new fans, we should do the same.

*Richard pointed to Nick several times during songs, it really showed an unselfishness on his part.

*Richard quoted the verve as the "best band in the world", this made me think of oasis and their claim to this...hmm am I sensing future tension? ;)

*I yelled out history about 5 times and then the next song was history, I would like to believe I influenced them cos it didn't look like they were going to...no? ok well just humour me :)

*the sound was extremely loud, and some security guy took pity on us and gave my friend and I ear plugs.

*Richard yelled out "see you next year Toronto!" wooo I am so there.

Well that's all I can think of as far as highlights go, truthfully I was happier to hear them play their older stuff since it dawned on me that I might not be able to hear them again, but I was happy with their selections of the album (although I wish they had played space and time rather than weeping willow). The audience were not so called bittersweet heads, it was a good mixture of fans. It was come on that made me shake and really got me going at the end, I could not get over how hard Richard goes to that song. I had to hold on to the speaker after the song, cos I thought my legs would fail me if I walked. I left that show as if it were almost a spiritual experience I took part in, and I just didn't want to look at anything as negative. Despite my bad day, and bad week was worth it for that hour and half of the verve, since I forgot everything. The best show of my life (and I have been to dozens), I can't wait until they come back.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Andrea

...On to Toronto, an International border crossing, Loonies and Twoonies, more dollars for the dollar, more potent beer, more km/h than mph and more units of petrol per tank. Mick E Finns was an ideal place, ordered some grub and greeted the rolling people as they entered, aaron, eric, guy (thanks for the skin-up), andrew, grable, and the latecomers, your names have slipped me. Rebecca and crew (from Ottowa? that's a part of Canada, right?) never showed up as they were waiting for the radio interview to be broadcast. We got to the Phoenix at 9:00 and caught Wayne's set, this time the slide screens were set up on adjacent walls and I could see both at the same time. Saw a lot of different ones than before, was this because I could see them all or because they had to show a whole lot of slides...to the sounds of day tripper, jumping jack flash, love's theme, can (or do you say kahn) and super stupid. I don't know if anyone remembers the funeral songs thread, or if you bothered to read it, but Flying by the Beatles was one I chose, the deejay played it and I was ready to be scooped up then and there. Geeze, you don't think someone's paying attention and played it . . . Nah. Tried to ask him who does the song Holy Are You, but he wasn't talking to idiots.

I found my spot again at the foot of Nick, and waited. and waited. A lovely nubile female named Lindsay was standing near me, she came up to me and said her friends were being stodgy, not wanting to dance, I said I was just looking to loosen up my boogie shoes, and we grooved like freaks for a bit. I saw some activity in the doorway and looked up to see Richard and Kate standing there, with Wayne. I closed my eyes and centered myself. I swear I could feel a warmth emanating from them. I called out it was as if I could feel the sun. Still another fifteen minutes until the band finally came out at 11:00 (supposedly planned). Richard announced they were glad to see some friends there, and something about the wankers in the back. Tonight they fiddled around and began A New Decade. "And it makes sense..."

Notable at this show was the sound, as crisp and clear as the cold Canadian air. Between songs 2 & 3 I think, someone threw a joint on stage (not lit), someone else followed suit, then a couple more, then suddenly it was raining joints, must've been a dozen in just a few seconds. On one of the last songs Richard went off on a short This Time rap, and Come On had the "if you don't like our sound, get up and turn it down" ad lib. Seemed shorter than Detroit. but I was drunker.

Hooked back up with the rolling people afterward and dined at the exclusive golden griddle. Who's sitting at the next booth, but Rebecca!!?! A good thing nobody took me up on drinking the beer I planned to bring home, as the next morning I knew my stomach wouldn't have appreciated it. Walking back to the hotel I passed a few blatant prostitutes, one of them giving me the fist-to-mouth international-symbol-for-blowjob. More information than you need, I know, but that visual image was one of the most comical I have ever seen, and it still cracks me up.

"Never coming down now never coming down no more no more" CHEERS ALL
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Jason Alex