Our Lady Peace: Live in Philadelphia
For those in this community it is safe to say that Punk is our life… but on occasion, we do enjoy dipping into other music genres. This is one of those occasions for me.
Flashback to Labor Day weekend 1994… I was tuned into the MuchMusic Countdown to see some of my favourite videos. There was one that had just debuted a week prior and it grabbed me and I wanted to record it on my VCR (yes kids, this was our “On Demand” before TiVO or DVR). That song was “Starseed” by Our Lady Peace. I was an instant fan. Before VEVO, iTunes or YouTube there was MTV and, if you were in Canada, MuchMusic. And as the joke goes – at one point both stations played music videos before becoming just another reality show broadcasting station.
Now, nearly a quarter of a century later we find ourselves in 2018.
Our Lady Peace has recently released their 9th studio album. I finally saw them after all of these years on fandom. The current lineup for the band is Raine Maida (vox), Duncan Coutts (bass), Steve Mazur (lead guitar), and Jason Pierce (drums). Our Lady Peace falls into that post-grunge, alternative rock genre that became popular in the early ‘90s but there was and still is something different about them. Their music oozes emotions on a level beyond what others in this genre put out. The vocal range and falsetto of lead vocalist Raine Maida was unlike anyone out there at the time and still to this day. His voice is raw and melodically unpolished in the best way.
The house lights went dark and the band took the stage. The crowd started buzzing with excitement, becoming almost electrified when the stage lights began flashing and the first sounds rang out of the amps. Although the show was not completely sold out, the venue was full of fans eagerly awaiting the band that has been a part of so many of our lives’ soundtracks.
There was a good mix of new songs from their latest release, Somethingness, as well as beloved singles from their earlier days like “Naveed”, “Clumsy”, and “4 am”. About halfway through the set, Jason came out from behind the drum kit for the band’s acoustic set and played a cajón. Both “In Repair” and “Somewhere Out There” were perfect being played acoustically. Emotion flows through Raine with every song he sings, but the heartrending passion that he exudes when everything is stripped down is stunning. The four of them together create an atmosphere in the venue that grips you and holds you emotionally hostage until the last note is sung. It’s absolutely brilliant.
The energy shared between the band and crowd was, for a lack of a better term, beautiful. All four band members seemed genuinely committed to being present in the moment and making that connection. Admittedly, I was concerned that I wouldn’t feel the same about the band with Jason Pierce replacing Jeremy Taggert on drums. However, that worry was all for nought. Jason is a fabulous talent behind the kit. The addition of him playing the cajón elevated his abilities as a musician far beyond the average drummer. It truly brings a whole separate experience for the fans in the audience.
Overall, I would say that Our Lady Peace has just gotten better with time. They put on a spectacular performance, probably one of the best that I’ve attended in 2018. If you are thinking about going to see them and have the opportunity it is absolutely worth the evening out… even on a work night.
Set List – October 1, 2018 – Theater of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
- Hiding Place for Hearts
- Superman’s Dead
- Drop Me in the Water
- Is Anybody Home? / Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
- In Repair (acoustic)
- Somewhere Out There (acoustic)
- One Man Army
- Not Enough
- 4 am
- Ballad of a Poet