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Ride played Music Hall of Williamsburg, their first NYC show in over 20 years (pics, setlist)

photos by P Squared Photography, words by Bill Pearis

Ride @ MHOW 6/1/2015
Ride
Ride

“Does anyone remember the last time we played New York?” asked Andy Bell? Someone from the crowd shouted back “It’s been too long!” to which Bell replied “That’s for sure.” I can’t say for sure either, but the last time I saw Ride was in 1992 at the original 930 Club in DC. I drove four hours straight from my summer job in West Virginia to the show (Pale Saints opened) and had to drive back immediatly after. It was awesome and I refused to wear earplugs…which was probably the start of my tinnitus.

Twenty-three years later, Ride are back and their show is within walking distance of my apartment, I’m wearing earplugs (for most of it) and, apart from choice of opener, this may have been the better show. Ride look pretty much the same, apart from a newsboy cap where Mark Gardener’s famous fringe once was, and still sound absolutely amazing. Opening with the massive “Leave Them All Behind,” the Oxford quartet played pretty much everything you’d want to hear up through 1992’s Going Blank Again (expect no “Kaleidoscope”). The only song beyond that played was the Stooges-y “Black Night Crash” from their final album, Tarantuala. Maybe when they return in September, they’ll throw in something like Andy Bell’s “Birdman” from 1995’s Carnival of Light. That would be nice.

I am on record for thinking Going Blank Again is their best album (and still do), but last night the songs from Nowhere and their early EPs that packed the most punch, like “Seagull” and “Taste” that showed them to be a great psychedelic rock band first and foremost, with keen pop sensibilities and maybe the best rhythm section of all the OG shoegazers. On that: drummer Loz Colbert remains an absolute monster behind the kit and I spent most of the show just watching him, mesmerized.

The band were in good spirits, glad to be anywhere after getting stuck at an airport in Spain for two days following their performance at Primavera Sound. And the crowd (MHOW seemed as packed as I can remember) were lapping it all up. The main set ended with the one-two punch of their perfect single “Vapour Trail” and an 11-minute-or-so version of “Drive Blind” which, as usual, descended into a noise jam a la MBV’s “You Made me Realise.” They encored with Going Blank Again deep cut “Mousetrap” and “Chelsea Girl” from their first EP. A really fantastic show. Pictures and setlist are in this post.

Ride play NYC again on Thursday (6/4) at Terminal 5 (tickets still available) which is with Ash, a much more appropriate choice for opener than Zak Starkey’s band Sshh who opened at MHOW. Pics from Sshh’s set, and more of Ride, below…

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SETLIST: Ride @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 6/1/2014
Leave Them All Behind
Like a Daydream
Polar Bear
Seagull
Sennen
Cool Your Boots
Black Nite Crash
Perfect Time
Twisterella
OX4
Dreams Burn Down
Time of Her Time
Chrome Waves
Paralysed
Taste
Vapour Trail
Drive Blind

Encore:
Mouse Trap
Chelsea Girl

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