July 20, 2017

Ride played Brooklyn Steel

After releasing their first album in two decades, shoegaze legends Ride returned to Brooklyn for a marathon set featuring loads of new material.

It's never been easy to be a shoegaze band. From critics declaring it "the scene that celebrates itself" to every release being measured to Loveless, few ever really stood a chance of being a band taken seriously. While their debut full-length Nowhere is in-fact one of two records that holds a candle to the timeless release by My Bloody Valentine, the comparisons have never died and the bar couldn't have been set higher. To make matters a bit worse for Ride, their contemporaries Slowdive also returned this year and released a fantastic new album. Ride, on the other hand, released a record that is almost as good as their mediocre work from two decades prior. As they took the stage in Brooklyn to celebrate the release of their latest work, the stakes were rather high. Of course, living up to these kinds of expectations rarely leads to success and through little fault of their own, Ride did seem to have trouble to match their hype. Again, despite being labeled as a shoegaze band, a lot of Ride's material straddles the line and crosses much more so into Brit-Pop territory. This was ever apparent for their set at Brooklyn Steel. The show felt much more psychedelic and charming rather than heavy and full of swirling guitars. Sure their textures were full and their lights were dramatic, but on stage the band did little to entertain the crowd. Nowhere opener "Seagull" was without question the high point of the evening and saw the band deliver their most intense and rocking moment of the night. The song channeled all of their strengths for a brilliant and tight-knit song that really conveyed the essence of their sound. Their new single "All I Want", with its stuttering vocal loop, came across much better live than it does on record, but still the band seemed to fall a little flat on stage. There were no surging moments and their sound never accelerated their set to another level. Even their classic "Vapour Trail" felt just shy of impressive and a few notches below eleven which hindered the band's ability to blow away their fans. Despite the challenges put in front of them, the band were still able to deliver an impressive and lengthy set that seemed to set many fans into a brief spiral of joy. People were dancing and grooving along to paisley-pop that sparked some 90s nostalgia. For those who've been able to separate Ride from their peers, it was still a fun evening and even those who piled on the pressure found some true moments of bliss.

Set list:

01 "Lannoy Point"
02 "Charm Assault"
03 "Seagull"
04 "Unfamiliar"
05 "Cali"
06 "Weather Diaries"
07 "Twisterella"
08 "Kaleidoscope"
09 "Rocket Silver Symphony"
10 "All I Want"
11 "Taste"
12 "Vapour Trail"
13 "Drive Blind"
14 "White Sands"
15 "Leave Them All Behind"
16 "Chelsea Girl"

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