09 August 1998

Fan Review: Aerial Theater 1998

Aerial Theater
Houston, Texas, USA
August 9, 1998

Houston, Texas August 9, 1998
Aerial Theatre at Bayou Place, the only Texas date!

We arrived to the sound of pre-recorded music and a very interesting slide show. This was the "opening band." Massive Attack wimped out and forfeited their opening slot, so we got a slide show instead. But you know what? I don't care. Why? Because I went to see the Verve and that's exactly who I saw. Let me also say, that I was honoured that the band chose Houston as their only Texas tour date. They're were busses and vans of people who I know travelled from Dallas, San Antonio and Louisiana to see the show. Let me say, for those folks, I'm sure the drive was worth it!

After about an hour of the same slides repeated over and over on both screens and an excellent mix of all kinds of music, the lights dimmed, the roadies pulled the slide show screens off the stage and an intro track sounded off and the crowd went wild. The band filed on stage with Richard & Peter waving to the crowd. B.J. Cole sat stage right, then a keyboard that Richard used once or twice was up front, Peter on drums, in the back center, Richard center front, Simon on bass and the other Simon behind him on keyboards and occasionally he popped on stage to play guitar, stage right.

From the moment the Verve started to play it was pure ecstasy. The band sounded great with B.J. Cole filling in nicely. I will say that Nick's own guitar playing would've made the show incredible but without him the Verve still put on a great show. I went from being a bit down because I wasn't going to see "the whole band" to just not caring because they did sound so good.

Richard seemed to be in great spirits, evening at one point, tossing smokes to the crowd, saying, "everyone needs a smoke once and a while!" He also made comments that made me, as a fan, feel good, by saying something to the effect of, thank you for letting us play, we feel loved. Richard also commented before Bittersweet, that they were going to "blow the fuckin' roof off of the place" because "I (Richard) had to play guitar on this tour and I'm ready to explode!" A blatant reference to Nick not being there. The band played an excellent selection of tracks from Urban Hymns, an album I feel is the ultimate album for the 90's. They also played a couple of songs from A Northern Soul and one or two from A Storm in Heaven. They put on a great show and played incredibly well. Richard made no comments on whether or not people would see them again... but to be honest, I knew this would be their last tour. Rumours were already abound and I think Richard will make a great solo artist anyway.

The lights and effects were awesome. The band also had three circular screens that came down from the top of the stage that made for some excellent visuals. The sound was really good, but of course, the Aerial Theatre is a great place to see a show. The venue holds about 3000+ people and you can see from anywhere in the building.

After the show I was able to get a set list from the guys who ran the lights from the center of the arena, this too made for a great show. I'm glad I have my own little piece of Verve history. Thanks light guys!!
  • By Anonymous (from Texas)