In the age of MySpace and everyone-is-in-a-band, it takes performances like those of Richard Ashcroft and The Verve at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to remind us all that whether it’s infused with punk, progressive, metal, industrial, hip-hop or reggae, the indie landscape is still a righteous place for pure rock ‘n’ roll. Led by frontman Richard Ashcroft on day one of this year’s event, The Verve declared appropriately enough at the beginning of their set that “this is music!” before performing the song of the same name. All the hits followed (“Space in Time”, “Lucky Man”, “Sonnet” and “The Drugs Don’t Work”) as well as crowd-pleasing tunes like “Bitter Sweet Symphony”. Through it all, Ashcroft visibly and audibly displayed his onstage talents with the help of a Shure SM58.
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