Concert Review: Our Lady Peace [Massey Hall, March 12, 2010]

Contributed by Danielle

Fuck you, Michael. Let me explain.

So I was going to write about how a waiter at The Three Brewers on Yonge Street managed to fling mayonnaise in my hair and didn’t bother to comp me anything for my troubles, but it turned out to be the least frustrating part of my evening. Imagine that.

A few months back, while I was off travelling, my significant other (hereafter referred to as my SigFig, ‘cause I’m mathy) wrote to tell me Our Lady Peace was doing a Massey Hall show where they were going to play Clumsy in its entirety. Now maybe it was because I was homesick and he was lonely or maybe it was because our musical tastes so rarely coincide, but this seemed like a great idea. Buy the tickets, I wrote back confidently; that sounds like fun.

After all, Clumsy is a little bit special. Released right before I graduated from high school, it was Canadian, it was weird enough to make burgeoning music snobs like myself and the SigFig interested but broad enough in its appeal that, even in rural Nova Scotia, all my friends would sing along when 4am came on the radio. Even after Our Lady Peace and I parted ways sometime before the release of Spiritual Machines, their first two albums hold a special place in my heart.

So we roll into Massey Hall on a soggy March night and take our seats. The crowd was a curious mix, mostly because there didn’t seem to be a lot of other people like us; most appeared to be much younger OLP fans, and much older folks we could only assume were parents of the tweens proudly sporting their new OLP toques. There was no opening act and the lads got started just a few minutes past the posted 8:00pm start time.

Right away, things are good but a little bit off. They played all the songs but Raine Maida wasn’t doing any of the whiny high voice theatricals we remembered and not once did he take the mic out of the stand; he just stood, singing his way through the album. What banter there was revolved around Raine reminiscing about writing certain songs. We were okay with this; it had been ten years since I’d seen them live and as far as I knew, this was an “intimate performance” of a much beloved album. Was I going to judge the man for not hitting the high notes of his youth? Hells no. I was just glad to be invited.

At the end of Clumsy, we take our seats and wait out the thirty-minute intermission. We’d heard the show would have a second half of greatest hits and took the time to discuss how, as nice as it had been, the band didn’t seem to be what they had once been. Alas and alack, we said.
Then things took a turn.

The second half of the show was ushered in my far more elaborate lights. The band re-emerged, complete with clothing changes. The tweens leaped to their feet and right before ripping the mic from its stand and launching into one of their newer, mamby pamby numbers, Raine proclaimed “Thank God the work is over; now we can get down to having some fun.” High vocals abounded, theatrics, the whole nine yards. But if you listened closely, over the din of the crowd, you would have heard one lone voice screaming the following:

Fuck. You. Raine. Maida.

It seems to me the height of dishonesty to advertise that you are going to perform a much-beloved album, phone in said performance and then piss on it in front of the very people who paid to see it. Obviously most of the crowd was pleased as pie to hear one of the many indistinguishable songs OLP has done in recent years about “life” (seriously, there were three songs I thought were the same crappy life song until I heard them all in succession) and I’m not saying part of the show can’t satisfy those fans as well. However, we had paid good money to hear Clumsy, so much in fact that we didn’t feel like bailing on the second half, painful though it proved to be. Besides dumping on Clumsy, they managed to desecrate just about every other OLP song recorded before the turn of the century. The evening reached a new and frightening low during Naveed, when the band saw fit to replace the beautiful, quietly-sung bridge with a cover of Kids by MGMT. The SigFig had been the voice of reason until this point, shushing me whenever I started to swear to loudly, but this consecration brought a tear to his eye. Again, I haven’t got anything against MGMT (I actually really dig that song) but its inclusion was such an obvious pander to the younger fans at the expense of older classic. What had started out as a pleasant if mediocre show turned into a repeated slap in the face for any of the older fans in attendance.

I admit that I’ve formed a snob’s opinion of Michael “Raine” Maida and company over the years that was based entirely on their decision to start making a style of music I didn’t like. I’ve scoffed at their simple, radio-play singles but I never really had any reason to dislike them as people.

Well now I do. You, Michael Maida, are a douche bag of epic proportions. I refuse to dignify your ego by referring to you by your made-up name any longer. If I ever see you downtown busking for WarChild, I’m going to find the nearest puddle and splash you with its muddy water. If I could have asked Massey Hall for my money back, I would have. Way to make getting mayonnaise in my hair the highlight of my night.

PS. Have you ever notice how much Michael looks like Balki Bartokomous?

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Posted on by Wade in Canadian Music Week, Concerts, Everything

About Wade

Transplanted east coaster now in Toronto. Lover of Canadian music and comedy

10 Responses to Concert Review: Our Lady Peace [Massey Hall, March 12, 2010]

  1. Mark

    “(seriously, there were three songs I thought were the same crappy life song until I heard them all in succession) ”

    Hahaha, ouch! Bazzing!

    How many PM’s would you give it on a scale of 0 to 5?

  2. Tavares

    Balki Bartokomous!!! LOL

    I think he resembles Wayne Gretzky more

  3. Tig

    Thanks for the review. This confirms my worst fears. I won’t be buying the new album or going to their show. I saw them just after spiritual machines came out. I was 16 or so,and proclaimed it the best day of my life. The music really affected me (still does) in a way that only art can. I am saddened by what they have become.

  4. midge simpson

    You sound like a bitter douche. Why’d you even bother to foul up the air in the concert hall that night if u dislike them so much?

  5. midge simpson

    Wade? Seriously? and you’re making fun of the name Raine?

    hahahahahahahahahaha Wade! Wade through this, idiot!

  6. midge simpson

    Oh okay saw your picture on this site, no wonder you’re so angry and bitter. Yekkkkk! :{
    when you were born the doctor slapped your mother.

  7. Dude

    Personally, Spiritual Machines and back was the BEST. Gravity and Healthy was the end of the OLP I used to love, but those albums were decent. Burn was nasty. I was left with the impression that Raine cared more about making more fans and doing what they say than producing good music. I know they need to make a living but what HAPPENED to the music? Either way, reading this review made me sad about how one of Canada’s best bands went downhill. I don’t mean to offend anyone, that’s just the way I feel about it all.

  8. Allison

    OLP has always grated me in the worst possible way. Don’t get me started on OLP. But since I’ve already started, I’ll finish.

    The 90’s churned out a lot of banality, but I think Canadian music’s alternative scene was the worst perpetrator of this bad pattern. I can only imagine how awful this show would have seemed to me…here’s the problem with Raine Maida and his wife Chantal Kreviazuk (whose hair dye commercials make me want to gauge my eyeballs out with a pair of knitting needles), often tooted as a musical Canadian power couple on Entertainment Tonight Canada…if lack of talent could be measured, these two are on astronomical proportions.

    Yet they are celebrated. Why? For the pure and simple fact that they are Canadian. Ugh.

  9. Ricky

    whhhhhhhhhhy is superman dead

  10. Pingback: Lyrical Analysis: Our Lady Peace – Superman’s Dead | The Panic Manual

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