Scorpio’s New Moon seems like a good day to grab something out of the backlog of content I’ve been accumulating, and cross it firmly off the to-do list. Tonight’s choice is another concert I’ve got in the waiting, British shoegaze veterans Ride, who performed the Teragram Balroom in DTLA a few weeks back on 10.14.19.
This is one of the more recent shows in the pile. I’ve got some older ones that have yet to see the light of day, and probably should take precedent. But I’m not quite in the mood yet … and I also digress.
So let’s get this post rolling …
Ride is one of my favorite acts from the early ’90s shoegaze revolution that ventured stateside from across the pond. They rose on Creation Records, alongside fellow labelmates Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, as well as many others who subsequently joined the wall of sound movement.
These Brits focus a bit less on the ethereal, calm in the storm approach to spatial sonics. They do have that going for them, particularly in the early days, circa ’90 with their debut LP “Nowhere.” But in latter years, they’ve learned towards embracing a bit more of the guitar-fronted, straight-up rock psychedelia, versus some of the more wildly eccentric sound-bending and blending of, say, all My Bloody Valentine.
Also, Ride’s vocals are a bit more upfront, shared by lead members Mark Gardener and Andy Bell, both of whom also wield guitars as their instrument of choice. In fact, these days, that seems to be more the case, particular on their latest album “This is Not a Safe Place.”
Ride’s actually experiencing a second, or maybe it’s a third, wind. They actually broke up around ’95-’96, after a few so-so albums, and the usual creative differences. But thanks to the ongoing craze of band reunions, reintroducing the sounds of influential old to the current unaware ages, whether it be shoegaze or not, Ride chose to do the same, and returned to the stage in ’14, nearly two decades later.
I had the opportunity to catch them at the Roxy show in ’15, which occurred one day shy of their debut performance 24 years ago in the same venue. Amazingly, I was at that introductory performance, as well, which also featured 4AD darlings Lush on the bill.
As a sidenote, Lush also reunited for a brief one year tour that spread across ’15-’16. But they chose to disband soon after.
Ride, on the other hand, chose to record new material, resulting in the ’17 release “Weather Diaries,” as well as the aforementioned subsequent LP “This is Not a Safe Place.” Both are albums that feel comfortable and confident with who they are now. There’s certainly the shoegaze roots present. But more often than not, melody with maturation, and of course, a fair bit of noise, takes precedent, alongside a complementary dose of psychedelia to keep the mix swirling.
I’m going to start the footage highlights with some material from their latest album, which, expectedly, featured prominent in the show. I didn’t grab all of it. But there’s four tracks worth taking a look. I particularly like “Jump Jet” and “Future Love,” the former a callback to their early days, the latter a more upbeat pop-minded number that seems akin to the “Twisterella” days.
I wish they performed my (current) favorite from “This is Not a Safe Place,” a catchy number called “Clouds of Saint Marie.” But maybe that’ll show up on another future tour. Also, I wish I grabbed “In This Room,” which was one of their encore selections. It’s a great, sprawling, slow-roll of a build that feels like the logical progression of where Ride is now, both musically and spiritually.
But let’s not focus on the misses, and instead, enjoy these tasty offerings from their Teragram show.
Ride perform “Jump Jet” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Future Love” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Shadows Behind the Sun” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Repetition” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Next up is a couple of tracks from the previous, post-reunion release “Weather Diaries,” which also happened to be some of my choice listening selections from that album. They’re titled “Lannoy Point” and “All I Want.”
Also, “All I Want” segues into an earlier track from ’92’s “Going Blank Again,” known as “OX4,” which they performed on their first reunion tour, but has since been absent from their live performance.
Ride perform “Lannoy Point” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “All I Want” & “OX4” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Speaking of early stuff, there was also a healthy spread for the ears to feast on, all culled from their ’90 debut “Nowhere,” some accompanying EPs, and their sophomore release “Going Blank Again,” all pre-breakup and pre-’92.
Honestly, I love this early stuff. “Leave Them All Behind,” “Seagull,” and “Drive Blind” are epic guitar-infused blazes of kaleidoscopic rock, the latter even featuring a full-on wall of sound disruption that interrupts the proceedings midway through, before returning to its regularly scheduled echoes of melodic reverberation.
It’s not quite the full-on cacophony of My Bloody Valentine’s “You Made Me Realize,” which has been known to stretch up to 17 minutes in length. But it’s the next best thing. And they were doing it some odd 28 years ago, as well, establishing themselves firmly as sonic pioneers of the era. So there’s that.
Ride perform “Leave Them All Behind” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Drive Blind” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19
Ride perform “Seagull” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
There’s also a few of their mellower numbers, as well as a couple of well-regarded radio-friendly (when that was a thing) popular oldies.
I’m particularly pleased that they played “In a Different Place,” which remains one of my favorites from their debut “Nowhere.” And to still be able to hear “Taste” and “Vapour Trail” is such a treat for someone, such as myself, who grew up during their inception.
Ride perform “In a Different Place” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Chrome Waves” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Taste” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
Ride perform “Vapour Trail” at the Teragram Ballroom on 10.14.19.
I’m going to digress a little, before I close out, with a few selections from their last two appearances in LA, at the Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge in ’17, and the Wiltern Theatre in ’15. I unfortunately don’t have any footage from their Roxy reunion show.
But I do have a few early tunes that didn’t make the cut on this tour’s setlist. I’ve also got the title track from “Weather Diaires,” which is one of the better, more mature offerings from Ride’s latest age.
Plus, this gives me an opportunity to feature “Dreams Burn Down” and “Polar Bear,” both classics from “Nowhere.”
Ride perform “Chelsea Girl” at the Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge on 09.29.17.
Ride perform “Time of Her Time” at the Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge on 09.29.17.
Ride perform “Weather Diaries” at the Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge on 09.29.17.
Ride perform “Dreams Burn Down” at the Wiltern Theatre on 11.12.15.
Ride perform “Polar Bear” at the Wiltern Theatre on 11.12.15.
That’s all for tonight. It’s quite a lot of Ride to digest in one sitting. But these guys are one of the originators of the shoegaze sound, which is a genre that keeps on giving for the guitar-minded, so I tend to get carried away. At any rate, I hope you’ve enjoyed this coverage of Ride’s current and past live performances. Until next round … I’ll leave you with good night tidings … and a setlist for the Teragram show. Cheers.