Two Canadian alt-rock institutions rocked Massey Hall this past week when Matthew Good and Our Lady Peace played the similarly legendary venue as part of their cross-country tour. It was a night full of surprises that had Massey Hall reaching sky-high decibel levels.
Opening were 2017 CASBY winners Ascot Royals, who kicked things off loud with their brand of heavy rock n’ roll. The band are preparing a new record and debuted a brand new song for the crowd.
There wasn’t any messing around from Matt Good – the outspoken intellectual got to the hits right away. Bathed in white light, he started off with the bleak turn-of-the-millennium single “Strange Days”. A recurring theme over the course of the night was Good’s banter about the enduring relevance of his lyrics – something that he wishes weren’t true in some cases. A lot of the messages in his older songs still hold up today, and he wasn’t afraid to point that fact out (see: 2004 single “Alert Status Red”). He flipped this observation into something darkly humourous while introducing 2007’s “Born Losers”, quipping “I feel like I had a premonition writing this song. It was about my ex-wife. Now it’s about two ex-wives.”
Plenty more hits ensued. The sweeping “Apparitions” featured an extended outro due to the crowd’s enthusiasm for it, and was soon followed by the stark, haunting “Weapon”. There were a few new songs in the set as well. The title track from his new album Something Like a Storm made an appearance, as did the upbeat “Decades”.
Our Lady Peace also have a new offering for audiences; the just-released Somethingness LP is the band’s first full record since 2012. To celebrate, the band assembled a set filled with all sorts of twists. From Raine Maida climbing up a stack of amps to the balcony, to a cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ “Maps”, to a special acoustic set stripping down some of their biggest hits – this was not a performance to be missed. Along with new songs like “Drop Me in the Water” and “Nice to Meet You”, the tracklist included all the monster hits like “4 AM”, “Superman’s Dead” and “Starseed”.
Another new song was one dedicated to the late Gord Downie. Raine recounted how seeing The Tragically Hip perform in 1993 was the catalyst that got him into music before playing the heartfelt “Ballad of a Poet”.
One of the biggest surprises of the night came during the encore when Maida invited both Matt Good and the Ascot Royals back on stage to play a rambunctious cover of Good’s “Hello Time Bomb”. It was a historic performance in a historic venue and just one of the many unforgettable moments the night had to offer.
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