By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England Correspondent
Venue: The Loft at Plainridge Park Casino, Plainville, Massachusetts-Saturday August 12, 2017
The multi-platinum band, The Verve Pipe, performed an extraordinary set Saturday night at The Loft. Although billed as an “acoustic show’, the Alt-Rock band sounded every bit as edgy as when they started almost 25 years ago. The tremendous vocals of frontman Brian Vander Ark, (man can hold a note for eternity) accompanied by Special Guest Channing Lee were powerful in this intimate venue.
Joel Ferguson (guitar), Randy Sly, (keyboards, accordion), Sam Briggs (drums), Brad Phillips (violin) and Lou Musa (lead Guitar} round out this superbly talented group of musicians.
The Verve Pipe set the tone early, letting the crowd know this was not going to be an ordinary “acoustic” show, they opened with a few songs from their “Villains” album, “Barely (if at all)”, “Villains” and “Reverend Girl”, then on to the popular “Photograph”.
Lou Musa (looks and plays like Keith Urban) along with Joel Ferguson, ripped on the hard hitting “Cup Of Tea” and “Medicate Myself”. The very personable Randy Sly stowed his computer away for this show and brought out an accordion, while Brad Phillips came off stage and into the audience at times with his incredible violin, creating the “acoustic” aspect for “The Freshman”. Meanwhile energetic drummer Sam Briggs hit the target all night keeping everyone honest, he added some terrific vocals as well.
Speaking with the band members before the show, they could not have been more gracious. Sharing insights into their music, changes to the business over the years, and even some local connections to the area, one could sense the maturity of this talented group of musicians, and songwriters. Smiling and laughing throughout the show, they all appear to be having a great time playing together onstage.
Original fans of The Verve Pipe may have lost track of them over the years, however this is not a band that should be overlooked. Catch them live while the tour continues. You’ll be blown away, and left wondering why you forgot them in the first place.
The Loft at Plainridge Park Casino, is an intimate venue with excellent sound and lighting. Managed by helpful and friendly staff, The Loft seats approx. 300 for most shows.
Barely (if at all)
Penny Is Poison
Cup Of Tea
If I Could
Don’t Fear (the Reaper)
(Blue Oyster Cult cover)
Never Let You Down