Live: The Verve at MSG


Richard Ashcroft at Coachella: Getting sued by the Rolling Stones apparently means you only have one wardrobe

Fresh from Coachella, the Verve arrived at the MSG WaMu venue with a seemingly inflated version of that setlist and with the same wardrobe, albeit Richard Ashcroft’s huge parka.

Regardless of when you got into the Verve, before Urban Hymns or after, watching the quartet together again was like being in an altered state . . . called the mid-nineties. Ashcroft dove into highlights of Northern Soul, motioning around the stage like Gollum with a tambourine in one hand and two maracas on the other. Bassist Simon Jones was probably the most enthusiastic of the bunch, mouthing to every song and cheering to the crowd. At one point, Ashcroft actually ate a banana onstage. Meanwhile the rest of the Verve did Best Of, playing “Come On,” “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “The Rolling People.”

With the hour-and-half set coming to an end and the inevitable “Bitter Sweet Symphony” having yet to be sung, I was itching to hear some new stuff off their upcoming album. I sorta got my wish. Ashcroft introduced the encore as, “First we’re going to play a classic and then we’re going to play a future classic.” But what could top their Rolling Stone sampling spin off? A magical piece with a catchy hook called “Love Is Noise” that could possibly be their second masterpiece, or at least a good intro to their next wave.