The second day of Northside was nearly perfect weather-wise, as opposed to the wash-out we experienced the day before. As the first day did though as well, a pop and somewhat Danish program prevailed over the line-ups – with folks in great spirits whatever was your taste in music was due to sunlight absolutely screaming from the heavens over the Ådalen grounds.
This was my first time seeing Ride – and I’d wager to guess that apart from several veterans up towards the stage – it was mostly everyone else’s first turn as well. Ride (like Afghan Wigs on Friday) had split up two decades ago and recently re-formed and been releasing new material in their original constellation. I managed to drag some of my friends down on my pleas – eager in expectations to have our minds melted. Ride did not disappoint.
The lads sauntered on stage and picked up instruments – looking, of course, a little older but cool and poised. They started with “Lannoy Point”, their latest of singles off their post-reformation album due out next week. Mark Gardner and Andy Bell trading off guitar and vocal harmonies – Lawrence Colbert Pounding his drum kit – and the sound tech pushing up the volume – as it should be for a legendary set from the gods of Shoegaze. Another new track followed before diving into the back catalogue – performing Nowhere tracks “Seagull”, “Vapour Trail” and my personal highlight “Dreams Burn Down” – coalescing into the noise sections one could almost have an out of body experience. From videos I’ve seen of their era – when they were hailed as one of the best live acts to hear in the world. they haven’t lost their knack. There are many shoegaze pretenders and modern updates on the scene today – but Ride were here to show us how it’s really done again. They finished their set in a cacophony of noise, Mark Gardner baiting the crowd with “c’mon” gestures, Bell stewing up a wall of sound with his Rickenbacker arsenal. Looking over behind him – you could just make out the faded stencil reading “OASIS” on his fly case – a reminder of an era when these guys, for whatever reasons weren’t playing their beautiful music.
Ride’s set will go down as one of my personal faves for the entire 7 seasons of NorthSide. It sounded great – they played a perfect mix of new and old (masterfully) and won the hearts and ears of anyone who was in the crowd over in their corner of the world as god knows what else was going on elsewhere. For 45 minutes there – I was truly in a state of bliss. I hope we can get Ride back for a show of their own indoors so we can properly see them spread their wings.
An early highlight to day 2 of NS17 – finally with a great band for the hard-core music fans to appreciate.
"An early highlight to day 2 of NS17 – finally with a great band for the hard-core music fans to appreciate." (5/6)