Matthew Good’s Beautiful Night

Photos by Renée Boucher Doiron

An album show doesn't have to be dull, and Matthew Good proved that on his "I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited" Tour, infusing his new takes on classic songs for a night with only a few speed bumps.

Craig Stickland

Opening the set was a very solemn set by Toronto's Craig Stickland, playing alone with nothing but his guitar, voice and a loop-heavy pedal-board to entertain the crowd. With his powerful, raw voice, Stickland held his own, using his looper pedal to craft rhythms on his guitar, even punching it for bass, to fill out his sound. While somewhat limited visually by his necessity to stay next to his microphones, relatable songs like "Déjà Vu" and the dark closing track "Warning" more than pacified the crowd.

Matthew Good:

Good opened his set in darkness, with voice clips echoing out into Southam Hall, with nothing to light up the stage but his glowing monkey mask. But after flashing "Kickass" over cheerleader chanting clips, the band rushed out, shredding from the opening of their set with "Giant," lights flashing and mini-solos firing off as often as possible.

The bass purred like a panther going into "Hello Time Bomb" as the band really started to light up the set. Crowd chants of "Push" along with Good made the whole performance feel interactive and the choppy guitar lines that closed out the track were extremely satisfying.

One not so satisfying part of the night however was the drastically overenthusiastic crowd, who would shout out just about anything any time Good paused for even a moment, let alone tried to talk to the audience. Their shout outs for song requests, got so bad that he even had to take a little jab at them pointing out "You keep calling out requests? You know we're playing the album start to finish?" a point that while hilarious, ended up inciting the crowd even more, at which point Good acknowledged it was a bad idea to have said anything.

The band got more intimate going into "Strange Days" and "I Miss New Wave," with acoustic guitar contrasted with growling guitar in the choruses. The lighter feeling was elevated thanks to some visually engaging lighting that would flash in sequence to the band's more delicate chords, avoiding the visual losses acoustic tracks tend to face.

Not giving the crowd more than a moment to shout out anything beyond a hearty "Rock and Roll," they launched into "Load Me Up" bringing a heavy sense of stadium rock that was rarely matched until the end of the night. Chunky guitars, an exploding chorus and multiple bar-long drum fills made it one of the highlights of the set, and the Van Halen-esque guitar solo, full of machine-like sounds capped it off energetically.

Cascading through some stunning intros, the band really brought a new sense of life to their almost two decade old album, as glistening guitars and raspy vocals hit eardrums and their back banner glowed like the Northern Lights to make the show all the more memorable.

Good ran into the crowd for "Let's Get It On," testing how far he could reach with his microphone while camera flashes went off around the crowd. Running back on stage to close out the song's instrumental jam, Good even through some bunny ears behind his guitarist before grabbing another guitar from backstage.

Between diamond-like lighting shots of Good and the bands swarming around the drummer, the sense of visuals and movement on-stage picked up as they entered the second half of the album, and Good reminisced about how long it had been since the record had come out.

Strangely for "Going All The Way" Good sat down on a chair in the dark, with the song's strong emotional moments still ringing out but leaving a confusing tone to his sedentary position in his chair. But Good turned it all around for thudding drums and pulsing power chords on "A Boy And His Machine Gun" as well as the passionate delivery and flaring excitement on "The Future Is X-Rated."

Quickly taking a moment to slag on his old recordings, noting why they decided to record them again, Good praised his engineers for making it all work, although he believes they may have succeeded at the time because people were high at the time.

Closing out the set on howling slide guitar, ringing cymbals and blasting distortion, the band ran to their amps for feedback, giving one of the night's highest energy moments. With rumbling bass and rollicking drums they closed out the set on "Running For Home" with their sunlight lamp looming like a sun over the band, closing on a fuzzy outro.

Returning for their encore they blasted through the poppy "Advertising On Police Cars" for one of the brightest notes of the night, with the crowd dancing in the aisles accordingly. The classic "Apparitions" found the crowd chanting at their loudest, with synth-like slide guitars bouncing off the halls walls beautifully. Closing on "Weapon" Good through down his guitar multiple times to throttle the microphone, with soaring strings and pedal board mischief along to close out the set in style.


Hello Time Bomb
Strange Days
I Miss New Wave
Load Me Up
Failing the Rorschach Test
Let's Get It On
Jenni's Song
Going All The Way
A Boy and his Machine Gun
The Future is X-Rated
Born To Kill
Running for Home

Advertising On Police Cars