31 July 1998

Fan reviews: Copps Coliseum 1998

Copps Coliseum
Hamilton, Toronto, CA
July 31, 1998

Notes: Supported by DJ Wayne

Tonight, I took in The Verve at Hamilton's Copps Coluseum. It was the first time I've seen the boys in action and I must say they were amazing. They only gave us a taste of old stuff and I can just imagine how back in the day they rawked the house with it (Gravity grave, etc)

Anyways, they opened with Space and Time......Kate Radley was aboard for the second or third song......then off she went..(such a captivating woman, but that's another matter)

I must admit the biggest effect on me was the mood of Richie. He seemed depressed. Like I haven't felt that depressed in so long...and it's all emanating from him....at times he seemed happy and aware, but mainly a little lost and very sad...

I imagine lots of it was drug-induced, he seemed a little under the influence when they walked on. The rest of the negative vibes came from the large audience. Just too many people there for a 'social event' and not the music. So it goes.

Highest points were: COME ON (amazing), SO SISTER (acoustic gem) and ...the NEXT ONE (acoustic)....and of course Kate Radley

That's it

cheers to Richie and his tasteful ways
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Erik

Well got back a little while ago from the concert and I shall write a little summary. Wow what can I say, I thought the concert was absolutely awesome. This is the only Verve concert I've been to, so I can't really compare it to others. It started at about 9:15pm (Eastern), and we got to see a neat slide show before hand that must of ran for about an hour. But I was really impressed with the concert, like other reviews the lights were cool. I had floor tickets and got a pretty good view of R.A. and the whole crew. R.A. came out with his fisherman hat, a somewhat see-through tight black t-shirt, sandals, and a pair of gray cargo pants. He didn't talk much throughout the concert but he seemed really comfortable up on stage, smiling, waving, dancing and all. Simon Jones was to the right of him dressed all in black, and too was waving to the crowd and smiling. But he mainly kept to himself, eyes close, and bouncing up and down. They both drank and had a joint on stage. The music was excellent, I couldn't have asked for more. The set list was similar to the Detroit, and Chicago ones. So all and all I'm really all positive about this concert. I had a great time. The people around me were really nice, pushing and shoving was very limited. There wasn't a mosh pit. People there just shook their heads to the beat. Hey the concert must of been good. I went with 2 of my friends who only heard two of their songs previously and they were just blown away. So they too are now fans. So they ended off with a wicked long version of B.S.S. and most of the people who were in seats had stood up. R.A. ended the concert saying (from what I think he said, hope I don't miss quote him) "Thank you, we will be back again." Now isn't that nice to hear?

Well I'll end it off at that. Gotta get some sleep as I have to wake up early this morning.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Huong.

I disagree with all of you about the Hamilton show. In my opinion it was fairly lackluster. This was my first time at a Verve show and I own all the albums so I knew all the songs, but there were plenty of screw-ups especially at the beginning, and the mix was horrible was well. The crowd didn't seem to be very much into it, and Richard looked disinterested until towards the end of the concert. They didn't seem to "connect" as a band..I was at the Oasis concert at MLG in January and they had a much better sound, everything was more together, and everybody seemed to be more into it. I have to admit that the concert did pick up in the second half, and I loved it when Ashcroft played So Sister, because I didn't expect to hear that one, it is a gem! Their rendition of Bittersweet Symphony almost made up for the otherwise boring performance, they really got into a groove their, and Richard was going nuts, and everybody was on their feet! I have seen Oasis, Radiohead, and The Verve (now), and although I didn't lose any respect for the Verve, I certainly didn't gain any either.. Perhaps they were better with McCabe, but over-all it wasn't what I expected.

 Thoughts are welcomed.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Nathan

Oh my god! The Hamilton show kicked ass! First I will tell you about MEETING THE BAND!!! Then, I will review the concert.

 Me and my friend arrived at the Sheraton Hotel around 6:15pm. We had some time to kill as the concert didn't open doors until 7:00. We sat down in the lobby.

 Then, about 10 minutes later, my friend looked outside and said "Hey, isn't that him!?!?!"

 I looked outside and said "Yup!"

Richard Ashcroft strolled into the hotel with a HUGE body guard (wearing all black!), and this REALLY hot woman. Richard was wearing jeans and a brownish zipper-up jumper shirt thingy. He had sandals on too (for you people that care).

So, I ran up to him and said "Richard!"

He, stopped, turned around and said "Ya" The bodyguard and the woman stopped too. "Can I have an autograph?" I asked. "Ya man" he replied.

I put my backpack down and got out my Rolling Stone magazine with him on the cover. As I was getting my pen, the bodyguard said "We have to go soon" and just as soon as he said that, his pager went off.

I got out the pen (which was a fancy fountain pen from France) and handed the magazine and the pen to Richard.

"This is the poshest pen I've ever seen" He said and I laughed.

He struggled to get it to work, but after a few seconds it did.

He wrote "Love & Peace Richard Ashcroft 1998"

Then he gave me my stuff and put out his hand and looked at me. I shook his hand and he said "Thanks a lot, mate!"

I said thanks and he turned around and left with the bodyguard and the woman. The whole ordeal took 5 minutes max.

I sat down and was careful not to blur the ink. 10 minutes later, a few girls came in and sat down. They were totally pissed that they missed him by ten minutes.

Then, 10 minutes later, at maybe 6:45, I saw a black van pull up and the doors open. This time about 5 people got out. As they walked in the hotel, I saw that they were the same bodyguard, Simon Jones--> the bassist, the woman (again!!!), the drummer and I think B.J. Cole.

Me and the 3 girls went up to them to ask for autographs. Everyone (including the bodyguard!!!) left except for Simon Jones. He was wearing black pants and a black button-up shirt.

When he realized that the other people had left, he said "Thanks for leaving me here!" It was funny. I could barely understand what he was saying, because of his accent.

He signed something for the 3 girls really fast. Then he turned to me. "Can I have a picture?" I asked. "Sure mate" He replied.

I stood next to him and my friend took the picture. I said thanks and he said something like 'no problem'.

He left and I sat back down. A few minutes later, Jones and the girl returned to the lobby and went to the front desk for a minute. I didn't want to bother them again and they left after a few seconds. I think they were ordering pizza, because about 15 minutes later, at 7:10, a pizza guy came with 4 or 5 pizzas and he went up the back elevators when the band went up.

We decided to go to Copps. Our seats were really good. At 8:00, the lights went off and everybody went crazy. But, the Verve didn't come out. For 1 hour and 10 minutes....yes, that's right 70 MINUTES!!!!!!!, there was a "musical slide show" persay. They were 2 projection screens which flashed pictures of the band, mainly Richard, and all sorts of other things like animals, cars, Disney world, everything. Every little while, cool sayings flashed on, like "Splendid", "I'm a million different people from one day to the next" etc.

At 9:10, the band came out and played a great set. The highlights for me were Sonnet, The Drugs Don't Work, One Day, Velvet Morning, Lucky Man and Bittersweet Sym. They played B.S.S and then for like 10 minutes, they just jammed. The band played the song chorus part and Richard danced around and sang all this cool stuff. At one point, he was rapping!!!

 He talked a lot to the crowd and it was an amazing concert overall.

  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Tyler

Hello listies!!

I made the three hour trek to Hamilton last night and I was not disappointed! The show was really fabulous. The guys played more old stuff than they seemed to at the other stops (according to you guys on the list). My seats were absolutely smashing as well. i was in the first row of the balcony, dead centre. So i could put my feet up, rest my drink on the edge, and there were no people in front of me (plus i hate being on the floor).

There was a bit of weirdness however... They played history, but changed the tempo during the first line, something went wrong during space and time (wrong chords?), and richard sang the wrong lyrics at the start of on your own, and then abruptly stopped, waited a bar, and started over. What's with all that?????

Other than that, everything was hunkey dorey! They sounded amazing, and I have never heard such a well balanced acoustic set (only a couple of songs by richard). BJ cole looked like he was asleep, or some old non-responsive guy in a chair. Oh well, what do i know?

 Here's a set list, as good as i can remember, (not in order)

 space and time
 this time
 the drugs don't work
 weeping willow
 lucky man
 on your own
 one day
 so sister
 see you in the next one
 come on

pretty sweet eh? eh? YES. I bought me a poster (the one with the trees, and richard) and I picked us one of those "music saves" stickers. That's it. Hope anyone who is going in the next few days has as good a time as I did.

NOTE: bring binoculars!! they make it so much cooler! I was in the second level, and i could see the sweat running down his face!
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Chris

hmm, i must say i was somewhat disappointment at first w/ my one & only Verve experience. when ppl wrote in the past, "it was a good show but not a good VERVE show," i thought, "what the fuck are u talking about??? at least u got to see the legends!!" they boys were in crowd-pleasing form, but i didn't really feel moved until the wonderfully insane noise of COME ON (from that point on i was lit). New Decade/ This Is Music, etc. would've given the show a much bigger kick, but it's too late for that now, isn't it?

well perhaps it's been all the talk about the magical old days, but i was let down by the pace/feel of all the new stuff, although i knew that's all i'd be hearing since the set list remained the same as the last few shows. i was terribly excited to hear that they played great versions of OYO & History, but i really disliked how they played OYO (relatively) as fast-paced. i was hoping for an acoustic version like on the UH Tour TV special on Muchmusic. i guess Richard didn't feel like being mournful till the beautifully sad encore w/ So Sister & See You...History remained faithful to the album version but in my mind it seemed he was just going thru the motions (since he's a happy fellow now, as compared to the ANS era). Drugs Don't Work seemed more meaningful so i enjoyed that even more than the 2 old ballads, which was a weird surprise.

i hope no one else has to see them stuck in the stands in a crappy hockey arena w/ ppl that will only get up for Lucky Man & BSS. i'm sure it would've been much more memorable grooving on the floor in the 1st few rows. So for those of u going, sneak in a camera for the cool light show (wasn't Sonnet so pretty?), & forget about the old days & just enjoy bopping along to the new pop. after twisting her ankle en route to running for the last bus which we almost missed back to Toronto, a friend remarked, "the show was not quite worth this pain." sad note to end a satisfactory (can't believe i'm using that word to describe the VERVE) night.

still grateful to the boys for playing well for us, but wishing i was around for them years ago

ps, i was pissed off that floors were selling for $20 outside when i paid $33.50 to be confined to a seat. 2 of my friends lost their money cause no one would take their tix (they couldn't afford the bus ride to Hamilton) except for the scalpers who offered me $10 for the pair. ouch.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Flora

The absence of Nick was noticeable but they still pulled off a great show, in my opinion. Really missed Nick though. At the end Richard said something like, Hope to see you again!. I sure as hell am praying that I'll have another verve album to buy and another concert to attend. T-shirts weren't bad, 5 different kinds plus 2 baby T's($35) 2 posters($7), "music saves" sticker($3), and a program($10).

 Most people sat through the concert, until BSS came on. Tonnes of people around me had know idea why I was cheering so hard when he started playing See You In The Next One. I couldn't believe that everyone was sitting. I took the opportunity stand and have clear vision of the band and groove out. I'm still on a high about seeing them. YAHHHHH!
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Marcy P.
I concurrently agree with Marcy. It was an excellent show. The Toronto crowd, which tends to disappoint me with its lack of Enthusiasm was pretty enthused at this concert (sorry, Hamilton crowd!), which I think Richard fed off of. Simon Jones also enjoyed getting a rise out of the crowd.

This was my first concert of the Verve's and I never really appreciated just how wonderful Richard's voice was, but it was really strong last night, and he sang the songs so beautifully!

I don't know what the rumours are about the band breaking up, but they seemed pretty relaxed last night. Richard made a little boo boo and announced that they were going to play Lucky Man, Simon walked over to Richard, tugged on his sleeve, talked with him for a few seconds, and then Richard said to the crowd, Oops I've done it again, we're playing The Drugs Don't Work, which got an equally enthusiastic response. Simon looked as though he was really enjoying himself, the music and the general atmosphere. I couldn't see Simon Tong at all because in his direction there was a big head in front of me :P
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Suzy A.

i just wanted to put my two cents in about the Hamilton show. i tend to disagree with you marcy about it being as good as you said it was. i personally was disappointed and wished that they hadn't bothered touring without nick. i know i know!! i can hardly believe i said that myself!! he just brings so much to their sound and their presence that this show was just not carried off without him being there.

don't get me wrong folks, the show was good, just not up to the level where the verve, and i mean the REAL verve are at. maybe had i not seen them back in November (with Nick) i would have loved this show, perhaps not. everyone i was with agreed that this show was just not up to standard, and they had never even seen them before.

i wanted older stuff, particularly a man called sun, and did not expect to get it. i just wanted more old stuff, i like the new album and all but it just isn't like the old verve, you know?

i have a feeling that this might be the last time that was see Richard, the Simon's, and Peter. The last time we saw the Verve was on their last tour.
  • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
  • Review by Cat

I also have mixed feelings on the Hamilton show. The "arena style" lighting and screens really added something to the overall presentation on the show. I haven't seen the Verve use a side-screen since '93. Before the show I didn't think that Nic's absence would be a "big deal" but I was wrong. Without him the concert never really took off, no upbeat or rockin' songs i.e. New Decade, Rolling People, This is Music etc. were played. The entire set list consisted of more mellow MOR songs. Having said that I think the way in which the songs were re-worked were great. The show wasn't very long either it clocked in at 95 min. In conclusion, the show was not bad but it was nothing in comparison to the Phoenix shows from 95 & 97.
    1) Space and time
    2) Sonnet
    3) This time
    4) On your own
    5) Weeping willow
    6) The Drugs don't work
    7) Lucky man
    8) History
    9) One day
    10) Velvet morning
    11) Come on
    - encore
    12) So sister (Richard solo)
    13) See you in the next one (Richard solo)
    14) Bittersweet symphony
    • Source: Verve-Tribute: A tribute to what was website
    • Review by Psycho Mafia