Alternative rockers Our Lady Peace opened up their Vancouver portion of their tour to a surprisingly somber crowd at the Vogue Theatre. Yes, you read correctly. While the Toronto boys opened up with “Superman’s Dead”, everyone else was in their seats. It irked me to witness this. Was it because OLP was performing all of their songs off their 1997 album “Clumsy” for the first act?
Or maybe it was Raine Maida’s lack of frontman appeal? Was he sleepy? Feeling gassy? Nauseous? Too much blow? Honestly. I wonder if I was the only one questioning what was up with him as he stood there, clutching onto the mike with his head hung to the side during “Hello Oskar”. True, Maida has admitted to hating the song back then but even though he has somehow learned to love the song now, he definitely wasn’t showing it. He also had a laptop to the side of his mike that he occasionally checked. Did he need a refresher for the lyrics? He couldn’t possibly be checking his Facebook or updating his Twitter account. That would just be rude. At least the rest of the band was enthusiastic to make up for Maida’s lack thereof. I can honestly say that I paid more attention to them than I did to Maida.
I figured I might as well stay and wait through the 30 minute intermission and see what the second half of the show had to bring.
And it was like a complete 180. There were strobe lights, LED backdrops, and Maida even had an outfit change. Or did he just loose the scarf? I can’t remember now. His energy took a turn for the better though. Maybe he had a Red Bull during the intermission? Or a perhaps a nap? The audience got up on their feet at once and made a run for the stage. Suddenly there was this crowd jumping up and down that was obviously absent from the first act. They played all of their hit singles while the audience waved their hands in the air and sang along for almost the entire set.
With all of the flash and lights in the second act, you can’t help but think if they were trying to be really serious and pay respects to “Clumsy” with it’s more subdued tune. There should be an energy and there should be a feeling. There should’ve been more of an effort to make the audience fall in love with the album like when it first came out back in the late 90’s. I really didn’t feel anything except for when they played 4am and immediately the audience rose from their seats. Just because we’re not hearing all of your “greatest hits” in the first act doesn’t mean you can’t do justice and give a great show from beginning to end. Our Lady Peace is a great band and musically they are spot on note for note. Jeremy, Duncan and Steve are remarkable musicians and I think credit should be given to them because their performance was consistently impressive. Jeremy’s drumming is always on beat and Steve does amazing work at making different sounds with his guitar. But there’s got to be an energy and a momentum your frontman projects that keeps the audience entertained and not questioning whether or not they should leave during the intermission.
Our Lady Peace
May 13, 2010
By Mhelanni Gorre