Live: Ride, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 6 September 2019

It’s a spectacular thing to see a band pick up from where they were twenty seven years ago in the same venue with a seamless evolution and imbued with the same spine tingling passion and verve.

Ride were in top form: age had not wearied them and new material fused magnificently with old. And they covered a wide range of material stretching back to their early EPs and albums (although, tellingly, the troublesome Carnival of Lights was not visited).

Their new album, ‘This Is Not a Safe Place’ represents a return to the blistering form of their first two albums (Nowhere and Going Blank Again) as well as their welcome return ‘Weather Diaries’. In my view, ‘Clouds of Saint Marie’ is a new Ride classic and was sadly not played tonight. However, most tellingly, there was a seamless transition between new material and old.

In a recent interview with Backseat Mafia, singer/songwriter and guitarist Mark Gardener said this set list was deliberately a ‘best of’ Ride to make up for their absence in the region: mirroring their comeback tour in 2015.

We’re leaning the set more towards the reunion shows in 2015 as we didn’t play Australia on that tour but also including some newer songs to keep all fresh for us and hopefully take the audience to new places as well as some of the more familiar places of their nostalgic past.

Despite playing the previous night in Melbourne, the band did not show any signs of exhaustion, Gardener exuberant and cheerful, and Andy Bell a static, immersed and enigmatic figure. The feature that always made Ride stand out – their harmonies interweaving through the twin guitar attack – were glorious and enthralling. The rhythm section – Loz Colbert on drums and Steve Queralt on bass were steadfast and strong – providing the thumping spine to the chiming guitars.

It was great to see Ride back where they belong and great to see how creativity doesn’t age. It is great to see such an exciting guitar-based rock band holding the standard for live music – exciting, dangerous and passionate. And loud.

Ride are now off to tour Northern America and then back across Europe later this year. Full details are available here.

Set List:

Jump Jet (This Is Not A Safe Place)
Charm Assault (Weather Diaries)
Seagull (Nowhere)
Repetition (This Is Not A Safe Place)
Dreams Burn Down (Nowhere)
Unfamiliar (Today Forever EP)
Twisterella (Going Blank Again)
Chrome Waves (Going Blank Again)
Lannoy Point (Weather Diaries)
Future Love (This Is Not A Safe Place)
All I Want (Weather Diaries)
OX4 (Going Blank Again)
Taste (single, bonus track on Nowhere)
Vapour Trail (Nowhere)
Drive Blind (Ride EP)
Kill Switch (This Is Not A Safe Place)
Polar Bear (Nowhere)
Black Nite Crash (Tarantula)
Leave Them All Behind (Going Blank Again)
Chelsea Girl (Ride EP)

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