Show review: Our Lady Peace and Matthew Good at TD Place

Photos by Andre R. Gagne

The 90s rip roared their way back into TD Place last night only this time it wasn’t a hip hop hooray but the tunes that rocked every college dormitory from St. John’s to Victoria! Matthew Good and Our Lady Peace have hit the road together for a two and a half hour rock ride that isn’t so much a nostalgia trip backwards but a reaffirmation of everything that made Canadian rock so gut-smashing awesome back when we were all spinning Big Shiny Tunes!

It was a quick return to Lansdowne turf for Raine Maida and OLP having opened for Guns ‘N Roses back in August. Though the audience was a tad smaller (as Good would quip in his set: “It’s half an arena show!”), this time out the screams were directed firmly in the Canuck rockers direction. This time it was their jungle and they sure as hell knew where they were.

“Wow, there’s a lot of you out there,” Maida said scanning a crowd that had already been pumped full of rock juice from Matthew Good’s set.

The BC musician didn’t just warm the crowd up, he dowsed them in kerosene and struck a match on a blazing set that included cuts from last year’s Something Like a Storm and choice cuts from the back catalogue. Content to sit for the first few tunes, by the time “Load Me Up” echoed off the rafters the audience was raising up like flowers in need of musical nourishment.

Good obliged in generous helpings.  

Not to be outdone, Our Lady Peace pointed, aimed to please and fired early on breaking out favourite "Superman’s Dead". The crowd tossed it right back, though, hitting those “why-e-i-e-I” loud enough to nearly drown out Steve Mazur’s guitar solos…nearly. Mazur was ready to ramp up the volume with some power chord lightning bolts.

Like the ZAP on “Innocent”! ZZZZaaaaaaap “One Man Army”! Paaazzzzzow on a pretty damn fine cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps”. You know, it’s probably best if you just picture comic book action bubbles bashing into the sparks Mazer was throwing. Bam!

Announcing that they were doing a few things differently on this tour, Maida and the band took centre stage for an ol’ school Unplugged (that’s Intimate and Interactive for all you MUCH lovers out there) acoustic set.

“Sometimes it’s interesting to go back to the way these songs were written on acoustics in the basement or the back of a bus or in a dressing room. I always felt that if I song can stand out when played acoustically that it’s a good song," said Maida before playing stripped down versions of “In Repair” and “Somewhere Out There” while bandmates Mazur, Duncan Coutts and Jason Pierce backed him on two more acoustics and a cajon.

The biggest cheer of the night may not have been for the pre-encore hits “Clumsy” and “4am” but when Maida acknowledged International Women’s Day with a rousing call for societal change.

“I want to talk about the things going on in our culture today with women, the empowerment happening before our eyes, how incredible it is. I have three young boys and thank good they get witness this and they will grow up feeling women are just as equal as they are. If you are an employer out there and a douche bag not paying a woman equal pay…f*ck you! Change that shit now!”

“In Repair” was dedicated to the women in the crowd. Another touching tribute kicked off the encore when Maida introduced “Ballad of a Poet” with the impact seeing The Tragically Hip perform had on him as a teen.  

“They helped me to distinguish what it was like to be an entertainer or be an artist,” he said before asking the crowd to break out their phones (sorry Jack White) and light the place up for Gord!

And there, for just one moment in time, TD Place was the Downie Galaxy and its soundtrack sang “tonight we radiate”. Something magical? Damn right.  

Matthew Good Setlist:
Bad Guys Win
Born Losers
Men at the Door
Strange Days
Something Like a Storm
Alert Status Red
Load Me Up

Our Lady Peace Setlist:
Superman’s Dead
Drop Me in the Water
Is Anybody Home
Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
In Repair
Somewhere Out There
One Man Army
Paper Moon / Life
Nice to Meet You

Ballad of a Poet
Hello Time Bomb (Matthew Good Band cover with Matthew Good)