The Charlatans (UK) & Ride – Majestic Theater, Madison WI 2/8/2023

The night came and I made my way downtown and got in line for the show. I was there far too early, but this is my life now. Be early, get to the stage. I was number 7 in line.

I waited outside and talked with a man named Kevin from the Milwaukee area that was here for the show. Otis soon joined us and we ended up standing together and chatting more. It’s fun to talk about who you’ve seen and listen to.

When the line started moving, once inside I got sent OUTSIDE to get tickets from the ticket window. It was a bummer, since I didn’t get right on the stage due to that delay, but 1. we did get actual tickets!

and 2. I was fine. I lived not being right against the wood. Lol. Settle down Mike.

We ended up right behind Kevin and conversation resumed. Both Kevin and Otis were sporting KEXP clothing. When I said that I had actually gotten tickets, then complaints about Ticketmaster and digital tickets ensued. Otis offered his stub to Kevin since he doesn’t keep ’em. Cool move Otis. A gentleman and scholar.

Here we were before the show. Hi Kevin.

I brought a Buddha to put on the stage. I put him between the monitors by the cords. Weird I know, but it’s a thing I’m doing in different places I go… how could I not do it here. When you think about all the bands and performers that have tread here. Kind of blows the mind.

The wait time went fast and soon The Charlatans hit the stage.

I had been listening to “Between 10th & 11th” since I learned I had won the tickets and what I pictured in my head was so so different, but I am pleased to say, pleasantly so. I dug it from the start.

I got a cool shot of the Buddha and Tim Burgess together.

but, then he got real real close and I started to worry that I was going to take out the the lead singer of The Charlatans.

So I reached around Kevin and moved the Buddha off to the side. After the show I brought him home. He is now my official stage Buddha. No more Buddha talk this post.

The Charlatans were in short… fantastic.

Here is a clip of the band doing “Weirdo” one of their hits. Thanks Yolanda! I think she must have been standing like a foot away from me.

The whole band was cooking! Martin Blunt the bass player was a stoic blaze of fingers nearly right in front of us.

At some point he dropped a pick and Otis pointed it out laying on the stage within reach. It’s exactly the type of pick I would expect martin to use.

Mark Collins was the lead guitar and off to my far right. He was killing it.

Peeking out from behind a rack of keyboards was Tony Rogers. He is the secret musical weapon of the band, just sitting there with his fingers flying and making the sounds that I think blend everything together just right. It was the organ sound that I think originally hooked me on this band.

Then there was I believe the touring drummer named Peter Salisbury. He and Martin were just crunching out the rhythm. It was awesome.

The music was just like I expected, but more powerful than I expected. You simply cannot get the thump of the bass and the pounding of the drums no matter how loud your stereo goes. Seeing and hearing the band live made my listen of “Between 10th and 11th” on the way home that night even MORE incredible.

Of course the visual entertainment of Tim was a total gas. I don’t know why, but he seems a little dorky, but like your best mate too, so it works.

Wait, he’s taking pictures of US?

Tim prowled that stage and did his odd dances and it was truly great. I am so glad I got to see these guys.

The set list was in view and I knew the songs, and I was getting bummed the closer we got to the end.

I think this is my favorite shot of Tim that night. He crouched down for a while and I grabbed some closeups.

Then it was the finale and they were all churning out the music at a fever pitch.

All too soon it was over. A woman on my left got a set list. Actually it might have been Yolanda who uploaded the videos I linked here in this post.

Amazing show. Come back soon Charlatans!

Then a quick stage changeover and enter the most guitar pedals I have ever seen on stage at any one time. A truly immense arsenal of effects pedals. I think this may rival Buckethead’s pedal bank. Thanks for the next 2 pics Otis.

They also taped the lyrics to a song on the floor down front. Why that one song?

When Ride came out, the crowd went crazy. Mark Gardener was actually wearing the shirt from the tour poster.

The first song “Seagull” blew me away. Again, I had heard the song a few times in the days leading up to the show, but to see and hear it played live was so much better. I was mesmerized by the layers and waves of sounds. When I remembered to take pictures again I got some shots of all the band.

Steve Queralt on bass and Laurence “Loz” Colbert on drums.

Mark Gardener left and Andy Bell right.

Someone in the crowd yelled out something about Andy’s Kenny G t-shirt. He smiled.

For those not familiar with Ride, I will quote from the Wiki:

“The band’s first two albums, Nowhere (1990) and Going Blank Again (1992), are critically acclaimed as two of the greatest shoegaze albums of all time.”

I actually had “Going Blank Again” on my Bandcamp wishlist, so I had heard that one several times and was going to check out the rest. This was a great way to get up to speed on the band! Knowing that they were going to play all of “Nowhere” I had listened to that one several times before the show. It was fantastic seeing it live.

Here is a clip from the show, courtesy of Yolanda again!

Andy sang a few. I don’t think I realized that when listening to the album. You can see his pedal bank in this shot. Also impressive.

There were a few guitar changes throughout.

But mainly Mark stuck with the tan guitar.

As pumped as I was to see The Charlatans, Ride was just as amazing. It was a great combination. I will say that I was glad that The Charlatans opened that night. Apparently they are flip flopping who opens each show.

Otis had gotten a shot of the set list before the show started. Photo credits. I don’t think I have ever used someone else’s show photos before. That makes you a contributor Otis!

It was a fantastic show, and by the time I had gotten home after 1.5 hours I had listened to “Between 1oth and 11th” again.

What a night.

Thanks again Majestic for the tix!

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