The Verve Pipe was formed in 1992 in East Lansing, MI - eight years after I moved away from East Lansing. In 1993, they released their most famous album, "Villains," which contained the hit songs "The Freshmen" and "Photograph." In 2001, Mark Wahlberg lip-synced to the Verve Pipe song "Colorful" in the movie "Rock Star."
I finally saw Verve Pipe in concert on Saturday evening as they performed for a sold-out audience at Chicago's City Winery.
Founding members Brian Vander Ark (guitar, lead vocals) and his brother Brad (bass guitar) remain from the original lineup. These days, they are joined by drummer Zach Dubay, Randy Sly on keyboards, backing vocalist Channing Lee, and Lou Musa, who played a wide variety of styles with equal ease on lead guitar. Brian is the leader, but the entire ensemble contributed and played well together. Brian VA retains the vocal range of his youth, and the band members harmonize well with him - particularly Lee, who has a lot of chemistry with the lead singer.
The evening's sets mainly consisted of original songs, but they covered the music of others in the final stretch, including David Bowie's "Life on Mars" and Fleetwood Mac's haunting "The Chain." They closed their second set with a crowd-pleasing rendition of "What Happiness Is" that included Lee breaking into a few lines of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know."
The energy increased as the evening went on. By the end of the two-hour show, the audience was satisfied. I should not have waited so long to see this band.