Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our Lady Peace @ The Pageant (10/30/2009)

During the show Raine (OLP's lead singer) claimed that the last time the band was in St. Louis they were going through a rough patch, the show that night sucked, and the show tonight would be much better. I was also at that show four years ago, and apparently I disagree with Raine.

I don't remember exactly why I rated their show back then so highly (4.5). Contributing factors might be: (a) Augustana opened for them that night, and I went backstage to visit with Josiah, and I caught some of the OLP performance from the side of the stage (b) I tend to overrate bands the first time I see them, and then decrease the rating on subsequent viewings. In any case, the show tonight is not getting nearly as high a rating.

When Christy and I showed up around 8:20 (20 minutes after the concert started), we found out that there would be two bands playing before OLP took the stage at 10. Instead of sticking around we headed across the street to grab dinner, where she had her first taste of Thai food (which is surprising for a young, hip, CWE resident). We returned to The Pageant a few minutes before OLP started.

The performance itself was disappointing, especially Raine's vocals. Part of it seemed to have to do with the sound setup, which did not seem to be mixed quite right. More to the point, though, might have been the way that he was "oversinging", as Christy put it. His unique way of singing is part of the band's schtick, but he seemed to be overdoing it with the level changes. We were both distracted during much of the show by the way he tilted his head back as he oversang every few words. It doesn't bode well that this was not the only thing that we were distracted by. We shared a few chuckles watching the dance movements of some of the members of the crowd who were enthralled by the band.

Other criticisms include Raine trying too hard to get the crowd to sing along - I'm not a big fan of the forced singalong...or the forced clap-along...or the forced stand-up. He also ruined one of my favorites of theirs, "One Man Army", by singing it wrong (in my opinion, at least). And they played the first half of "Is Anybody Home?" acoustically, which did not please me.

They played a few songs of their newest album, which I have but had only partially listened to. Unfortunately, the new songs that I didn't know did not inspire me to go listen to the rest of it.

Other noteworthy events included when they threw in a cover of MGMT's "Kids" during the "Naveed" interlude (Christy hated this, but I was fine with it). They also had one of their friends, a fellow musician, fill in for Raine for one song ("Automatic Flowers") during the encore - he did a decent job.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh on the band. After all, I do like a good number of their songs, and I think Happiness...Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch is a great album. So a disappointing show for Our Lady Peace means that they barely fail to make 80%.


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