A Newly Reunited RIDE, Still Worth The Cost of Admission

I have been following RIDE's progress since they announced a reunion last fall. Whereas their performance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic sounded a little tame, their Coachella show seemed to offer a return to form. This was the same experience I had during a recent show at The Riviera.

As the sample from "Leave Them All Behind" started to echo through the room, I had butterflies. Memories of my youth came rushing back. The long rides to the city. Lining up to get a good spot in front of the stage. Waiting for autographs after the show, and buying t-shirts.

Could RIDE still be as good as they were 20 years ago? Would they sound the same? "YES." Throughout the night, they played with the same fervor we experienced as kids and their maturity has perfected their art.

RIDE's trademark sound, waves of guitar and distant melodies, was still intact. But the takeaway for me was their harmonies. When Andy Bell and Mark Gardener sing together, for instance, on "Leave Them All Behind" something magical happens. They create a new voice, and this sound defines RIDE.


Both singers harmonized on classics like "Kaleidoscope," "Seagull," "Polar Bear," and "OX4." "Twisterella," one of the most unheralded pop songs of the 90's, was pure bliss.

Of course they both sang separate as well. Mark Gardener gave us cold chills during "Dreams Burn Down," "In a Different Place," and an amazing version of "Taste."

The highlight of the show came when Andy Bell sang "Vapour Trail," RIDE's biggest hit. It was a breathtaking moment, garnering the loudest applause of the night. To many of us, it was the reason we got into RIDE. I felt like a teen again, with no worries. All I could do was smile and sing along. He also wowed the audience with "Cool Your Boots."
Most of the music selections came from their eponymous album Nowhere and the follow up, Going Blank Again. They did play a rocked out version of "Drive Blind" from OX4-The Best of Ride and "Black Nite Crash" from Tarantula. These days they were sounding less like a shoegaze outfit and more like a rock and roll band.
RIDE's comeback was complete and their reunion deemed successful by everyone in attendance at The Riviera.

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