The Verve Pipe
April 14, 2023
Newberry Opera House
Review by Joseph Hett
The Verve Pipe Are Heroes In Newberry
The Verve Pipe brought a fun-filled show to the Newberry Opera House in Newberry, SC on Friday night. The alternative rock band from Michigan showcased their classics, newer material and a couple of covers.
The Verve Pipe is anchored by founding members and brothers Brian Vander Ark (vocals/guitar) and Brad Vander Ark (bass), along with long time members Lou Musa (guitar), Randy Sly (keyboards) and Channing Lee (vocals) with touring drummer Brian Vannieuwenhoven.
The Verve Pipe came out onstage and started with “No One’s Gonna Break This Heart (Again)” – from 2021’s “Threads” album. They continued with “I Want All of You,” which ended with Musa performing the shredding solo from Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do.”
The Verve Pipe really showcased their harmonizing with “Penny Is Poison” while Sly complemented it with mellow organ. Brad Vander Ark’s thumping bass really got everyone moving with “Photograph.”
Brian Vander Ark whipped out his electric guitar for the distorted Stones’ “Paint It Black” intro riff before launching into “Cup of Tea.” Brian really showcased his vocals by belting out with emotion. They then slowed it down for “Veneer.”
An unsung “hero” of the evening was touring drummer Brian Vannieuwenhoven. Vannieuwenhoven really cranked up the driving drums for “Hero.”
The stripped down “Love Isn’t Love” featured Brian Vander Ark singing while Brad, Lee and Musa shared a single mic. Brian Vander Ark then strummed his acoustic guitar to start the fan favorite “Colorful.”
Musa ended “Villains” with an amazing guitar solo. The only “villain” present was time since the show was winding down.
Lee had all of the men leave the stage for her solo performance of “Bridges Are Burning.” Lee showcased her phenomenal vocals while using an acapella looper pedal.
With everyone back out, “Medicate Myself” started with a bluesy intro then went into full blown electric. The guitars were screaming as Lee hit all of the high notes to perfection.
While Brian Vander Ark was tuning his guitar, he jokingly played and sang a snippet of Kansas’ “Carry on Wayward Son” before the cheerful “Never Let You Down.”
They featured their highest charting song titled “The Freshman” from the platinum selling album “Villains.” After a David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” cover, they closed the set with “Happiness Is.”
Just Brian Vander Ark and Lee came back out for the encore. Brian mentioned that the intimate venue had good acoustics. They then went on to play “Found” without any mics or amplification. Brian strummed on his acoustic guitar as he harmonized with Lee. Everyone then came back out for a rousing rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
The Verve Pipe put on an amazing show in Newberry. The musicianship of this band was incredible. Those thinking that The Verve Pipe was only a late ‘90s band are mistaken. All walks of life should love a show by The Verve Pipe.