Fun Fun Fun Fest: Ride
“Leave Them All Behind” and they did
By Doug Freeman,
11:25AM, Sun. Nov. 8, 2015
Ride only released four LPs before their 1996 split sent Mark Gardener toward a solo career and Andy Bell into Oasis, but the British quartet still stands as a seminal force in shoegaze.
Last fall’s announcement of a reunion run, their first shows together in nearly 15 years, marked a capstone to the most recent genre revival spurred by My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.
Opening their hour-long Fun Fun Fun Fest set with the 10-minute hypnotic roll of “Leave Them All Behind,” Ride struck a definitive statement for the band’s impact and influence. Bell’s swirling guitar and Gardener’s high, translucent vocals melted the chill of the November evening, fading into “Like a Daydream” with a whirring blur of noise.
Well polished following their string of European summer dates, “Polar Bear” and “Seagull” both unleashed a mind-numbing whirlwind behind Bell, who acknowledged the 25th anniversary of the songs from debut LP Nowhere. Gardener’s voice, meanwhile, continues to ring with a melancholy and distant yearning in the melodic “Kaleidoscope” and surging wash of “Dreams Burn Down.”
“Cool Your Boots” and “Black Nite Crash” both injected a more straightforward rock energy into the performance, while “Taste” and “Vapour Trail” winded back into the enveloping smooth rush of sound. Though the 11-song set left several anticipated tunes on the cutting room floor, closer “Drive Blind” shut it down spectacularly, dropping into a roar of distortion as the wind began to whip across the park.