I first discovered Our Lady Peace when I was 12.
Their music was unlike anything I was listening to at that time. Granted, I was slightly obsessed with the Spice Girls, so anything was a departure. Nonetheless, I knew there was something special about these guys.
Eleven years later, I still think that. I love them just as much now, if not more than the first time I popped the album “Clumsy” into my stereo.
On March 12, I got the chance to listen to that album live from start to finish. As part of their current tour, the band played “Clumsy” and “Spiritual Machines” in their entirety as a gift to their fans. Since I am a poor university student, I could only afford tickets to the “Clumsy” show at Toronto’s Massey Hall. I love both these albums, but when it came down to making the decision, there was ultimately no contest for which show I was going to see.
Now the other thing that made this concert so special was that with the particular ticket package I purchased, I also got the opportunity to meet the band after the show. For those who know me well, know that I’m as much obsessed with the band members as I am with their music. So this was obviously an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.
I got to Massey Hall at seven, already itching to confess my love to Raine Maida—I mean, impress them with how cool and collected I am at the post-show meet and greet. Ahem.
So in order to distract myself from waiting I stocked up on t-shirts and geeked out with the girls next to me about our favourite songs and which rarities were thought they would play.
Then eight o’clock came and the lights went out. The face of an older man appeared on a screen at the back of the stage. It was Saul Fox, the gentleman who graced the covers of their first four albums. Fox was reading the poem from which the band took their name. The die-hard fans in the theatre exploded with joy at the sight of this. Then the guitars kicked in, and the rock didn’t stop for another 3 hours.
Now I have seen these guys live twice before, but never like this. The music was louder, Raine was more eccentric, and the songs had been given new life. Seeing them play songs like “Car Crash” and “Story of 100 Isles” was incredible since they had never played them live before this tour. I’ve always listened to their albums and picked my favourite songs and hoped that I would see them live someday. But unless you luck out and see them touring said album, you’re likely never going to see those songs.
So I am beyond thankful to them for giving me and all their other fans this opportunity. I also consider it a lucky experience in the sense that they kept the set list strictly to songs before Healthy in Paranoid Times. But since they did just release a new album, I did have to listen to four brand spankin’ new songs. Luckier still, they were the songs off the album that didn’t make me cringe.
Yes, I’m aware that I am spewing blasphemy right now by suggesting their new album is less than stellar. But I feel I can say this better as a dedicated fan than Joe Blow on the street. All criticisms of “Burn Burn” aside, the show was still amazing, and I actually felt pretty empowered when Raine scaled the speakers on stage and sang “All You Did Was Save My Life” from the balcony.
Raine’s Tarzan act wasn’t the only surprise of the evening. They pulled out another little treat in the middle of the song, “Naveed.” The music slowed and the stage lights dimmed a bit and the lyrics changed to those of MGMT’s hit, “Kids.” MGMT and OLP seem like a strange combo, but it was actually quite the awesome cover.
After the show was all said and done it was time for the meet and greet. While the line up was long, it was beyond worth it. I got to shake hands and chat with the guys, which was truly a surreal experience. But despite my inner urge to jump up and down in hysterics, I managed to keep my cool. I got interview tips from Raine and Steve and got my picture taken with the whole band. I think I’m still floating on cloud nine.
So even though Raine declared that happiness is not a fish that you can catch, because of them I had a nice big plate of happiness that night. It was the best concert I’ve ever been too, and it is easily the greatest experience of my life to date.