Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman

With a winter storm headed our way this weekend, The Verve Pipe, performed Friday night at the Musikfest Café.  It was as if the thought of hunkering down for the weekend necessitated the need for one last night of fun out on the town.  At Musikfest Café, The Verve Pipe delivered a high energy incredibly great show.


It’s interesting to note that the band is now over 20 years old, yet, lead singer, Brian Vander Ark is the only original member.  But you’d never know it with his current ensemble,  Lou Musa, lead guitar, Randy Sly, keyboards, Joel Ferguson, bass, Sam Briggs, drums, and Channing Lee, back-up vocals and percussion.  The Verve Pipe was cohesive, tight, and they had a whole lot of fun.   

The show opened with the title track of their best selling album, “Villian” that brought the full post grunge heavy guitar lines and vocals that whispered and screamed.  The vocals blended harmoniously in “Never Let You Down”, followed by “All of You” with a danceable groove. More hits were abound, “Hero”, ‘Photograph”, and the first of two cover songs, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, which started with a pizzicato violin intro, and carried soothing harmonies.  And from the movie, Rock Star, “Colorful” was performed. 

While Verve Pipe rolled through the catalogue of hits, it’s nice to see that there is a bit of fresh air and energy with a newer release, “I Can’t Get You Off of My Mind” that held hard driving guitar lines. 

Ferguson started “Cup of Tea” off with a pogo dance, and “Veneer” followed.  The set winded down when it was time for  the one song that everyone came to hear, the earnest lyrics of “The Freshman”.  “Medicate Myself” followed, and the set closed with “Happiness Is”. 

After a brief break, Verve Pipe returned to perform “Reverend Girl”, and their cover of “The Chain” (Fleetwood Mac) as the crowd howled and clapped along.   

It was well worth braving the winter’s night cold air to watch a band with established musical roots in the late 90’s that continue to forge their path into the future.