Monday, July 6, 2009

Our Lady Peace: Molson Park: Lockport Sun & Journal: Thom Jennings

July 05, 2009 12:43 am

LOCKPORT: Our Lady Peace masterfully blends old, new
By Thom Jennings
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

LOCKPORT — Arguably, Our Lady Peace was the most anticipated concert in this year’s Molson Canal Concert Series and one of the main reasons so many people I have spoken to comment on how great this year’s lineup is. OLP arrived in Lockport to kick off a major tour in support of their forthcoming “Burn Burn,” which will be released July 21.

Highlighting new material is often a challenge for artists because many concertgoers only want to hear familiar songs, but OLP did a masterful job blending the old with the new. Of course, they had an audience that most bands could only pray for. If there were such a thing as a sell-out crowd for a free show, then OLP played to one.

They hit the stage at 8:40 p.m. and upon seeing the massive crowd, lead singer Raine Maida said, “ Oh my God, I think we’re in heaven,” after which the band opened with an updated version of “Naveed,” the title cut from its first album. Next was an extended version of “Superman’s Dead,” from their second album “Clumsy,” during which Maida urged the crowd to sing along and the massive crowd obliged.

It did not take long for even the casual fan to realize this was a special night for OLP. Standing in front of a backdrop displaying the cover of “Burn Burn,” OLP hardly seemed like a band that has played fewer than half a dozen shows in the past three years. New songs like “Monkey Brains” and “Paper Moon” were only distinguishable because the majority of crowd was not loudly singing every word of them.

A person standing near me remarked that OLP was “the best band ever to play Lockport,” a heady claim, considering the talent that has come through the area. I will say that OLP was one of the most polished bands I have seen in many years. Raine Maida is the consummate front man, combining vocal prowess and showmanship that is truly sublime.

OLP closed their set with “All You Did Was Save My Life,” a new track from “Burn Burn” that has been available on the Internet for the past few weeks. Closing with a new song was a bold move, but it worked because of the strength of the song.

The band returned the stage playing three encores, closing with a rousing version of “Starseed,” during which Maida jumped into the crowd.

Raine Maida gave a tremendous performance, and he undoubtedly did not disappoint the many fans in attendance. Nonetheless, it is important to note the work of the rest of the band, including Steve Mazur, the guitarist, who did not miss a note, and the flawless rhythm section consisting of Jeremy Taggart on drums and Duncan Coutts on bass.

Right before I left the show, a person said to me, “You better write a good review of this show.” A good show deserves a good review and OLP certainly deserves a good review after tonight. Before I left, I thanked Mayor Tucker for bringing these shows to Lockport. Two weeks, two excellent shows.

Contributing reviewer Thom Jennings is an Albion resident.
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