As I stood outside the Commodore, umbrella in hand, I allowed my eyes to wander through the growing crowd. I was surprised by how many people had shown up, seeing as how even I was a bit iffy about going to see a band that I adored when I was thirteen. The crowd, however, was pretty much what I had expected – a slew of fairly well dressed people aging 20+ (with emphasis on the plus). A tangible sense of excitement permeated the air, encouraging by-standers to question what we were lined up for. A smile came to my lips as I answered, “Our lady Peace.”
Inside I claimed a table and sat back to enjoy a scene of expectant fans infiltrating every inch of the room. Around 9:30, The Pack A.D., consisting of Maya Miller and Becky Black, took the stage. This female duo, Vancouver born and bred, certainly have their own sound and aren’t afraid to show it. While I still may be suffering the effects of their loud and incessant bass, I otherwise enjoyed their performance, and was impressed by how much energy they had. I must admit that their style would not be everyone’s cup of team, being of the garage-rock genre, but the crowd seemed to love them and I quickly decided that for what they do, they do it well.
There was close to an hour wait between the Pack A.D. and OLP, which I admit was a bit painful (especially as I was wearing heels!), but alas I survived, and was happy I had. Admittedly, I hadn’t listened to OLP in any sort of devoted fashion since around the time of their third album, Happiness..Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch, back in 1999. As such, as the first notes of Raine Maida’s iconic falsetto rang out over the crowd I was immediately transported back in time; an effect that I don’t believe I was alone in feeling.
While the band did play a few songs off their newly released album, Curve, it was their older hits, such as Clumsy and Innocent, which really got the crowd going. The crowd, high on nostalgia and booze, sang and moved with the music as if having had a drought from the fountain of youth. The resulting atmosphere was definitely enjoyable, and I cheered along with the rest of them as the night wore on.
Maida didn’t stop often to chat; however he did take the time to pay respects to the departed rock and roll legend Levon Helm. In his memory, Maida and Steve Mazur, performed an acousitic rendition of Theif , much to the delight of the audience, who swayed with cells phones and lighters in hand, honouring the moment.
Our Lady Peace ended the evening with two encores, including one of my favourite songs, 4AM. As the crowds shuffled out you couldn’t help but overhear the swarm of enthusiastic comments characterizing a mass appreciation for the band’s stage presence and talent. Though I had my doubts going in, I can now say with certainty that after twenty years together, this band’s still got it.