We here at Vanyaland are pretty into the Stone Roses; so much so, that this past Easter we spun nothing but “I Am The Resurrection” on a loop for 24 hours straight. So naturally, we had high expectations for the Manchester band’s first New York City show in 20 years last night at Madison Square Garden. And the Roses delivered a set that was both divine and deliberate, opening with “I Wanna Be Adored” and not letting up over the course of 90-minutes (or so) of British rock anthems.
Confident and effortlessly cool frontman Ian Brown danced calmly under a torrent of grooves. Bassist Mani held it down with a grin as long as the Hudson River. Guitarist John Squire was light on physical movement, but unleashed an eye-of-the-storm fury of spectacular noise that engulfed the arena around him. And drummer Reni remained fit; let’s just say that under all those bucket hats — changed throughout the set as often as Lady Gaga changes outfits during hers — resided the glue that holds the Roses together. They were no doubt “All For One” last night, but in the end it was truly the fucking Reni show last night, everyone. He’s the thunder to the other three’s lightning.
For closing song “I Am The Resurrection”, Reni got things started with a tasteful drum solo — a bloody drum solo! — before leading into the proto-Britpop anthem’s unmistakable introductory bass-drum stomp. That’s not captured in the fan-filmed clip below, but what followed was purely magical: An at-capacity MSG shouting along to the divinity of the Roses, all likely haven waited two decades for the chance to match notes with Brown (who, by the way, sounded top-form most of the night), for a chance to declare themselves the resurrection and the light.
The song roared into its furious jam-mad outro, and the arena coalesced as one. Each hit the band performed — from all of their legendary debut to a few selects off Second Coming to the new one — had the crowd in a unified uproar of mod bangs, Fred Perry, and bucket hats. But it was during “Resurrection” that deep within this frenzied drunken revelry, the Stone Roses finally decorated the halo for those who have waited so long on this side of the United States.