Our Lady Peace rocks Mile One

Justin Brake
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Concert review

The Memorial University Student Union (MUNSU) had the right idea when it convinced ultimate Canadian frosh rockers Our Lady Peace to entertain the restless students who, judging by their excitement Friday night, weren't disappointed to be back at school.

Much too big a show for the campus pub, MUNSU booked Mile One Centre for the gig and it turned out to be a good call - they almost packed the place.

The Memorial University Student Union (MUNSU) had the right idea when it convinced ultimate Canadian frosh rockers Our Lady Peace to entertain the restless students who, judging by their excitement Friday night, weren't disappointed to be back at school.

Much too big a show for the campus pub, MUNSU booked Mile One Centre for the gig and it turned out to be a good call - they almost packed the place.

The band has been in hiding for the past few years, conceding to the fact that their approach to making records just wasn't working. In fact, they nearly broke up after their last album, 2005's "Health in Paranoid Times" took more than three years to pull together.

Now, after Raine Maida recorded and self-produced his first solo album, gaining confidence to call the shots in the studio, Our Lady Peace has been plugging away at their front man's home studio in Los Angeles, rendering results they were excited to "test out" on the St. John's crowd.

"I have to be honest with you guys," he told the excited and fidgety crowd of university students. "We wanted to ease back into playing with each other, so we wanted to do a few small warm-up shows. But this is not a warm-up show," he added sarcastically, gazing out over the 5,500 or so in the audience.

Early hits

The band, standing as silhouettes on a dark, back-lit stage, kicked off the night with their early title tracks, the breakthrough hit "Naveed" and 1997's radio hit "Superman's Dead."

Needless to say, the early showcase of former encore songs was useful in generating the kind of excitement only university students are capable of.

The band gave equal consideration to the material from the latter part of their decade-plus career with "Angels/Losing/Sleep," "In Repair" and "Somewhere Out There."

They even performed a pair of tracks that Maida announced will appear on the forthcoming album.

The first, "Right Stuff," was more or less the same calibre a song as the New Kids On The Block hit from the early '90s (at the odd chance the comparison generates confusion - it really shouldn't - I mean "not all that great").

The next, "White Flag," seemed much more deliberate in reverting to the band's former raw rock 'n' roll style.

Political banter

Though he spoke little, Maida made a political reference to rouse the audience partway through the show: "Stephen Harper is a Nazi," he proclaimed to the consenting and boisterous crowd.

That was pretty much it for his political rant - surprising considering Maida's political ambition and social justice background, and considering the timing with the federal election next month.

The music seemed to be the band's primary focus, and the energy between the four and the oft participatory audience shined through on "Innocent" and first encore song "4 a.m.," during which Maida let the audience sing the chorus.

To have a band of Our Lady Peace's stature for a frosh week (or "orientation week" as it's now called) performance is an achievement on its own.

Whether the band members will make a return to their glory days, the campus bars era and the few years which followed, remains to be seen.

If the new album falls in line with "White Flag," there is a glimmer of hope. If "Right Stuff" ends up being the wrong stuff, well, we can still say we heard it here first.

Organizations: Our Lady Peace, MUNSU, Memorial University Student Union New Kids On The Block

Geographic location: Los Angeles, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • NewfieLady
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Best.Concert.Ever!!

  • Mack Furlong
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Just to let you know Justin, frosh week used to be called orientation week years ago when acts that were much bigger that Our Lady of Peace would sell out the 'old' TSC every couple of weeks throughout the entire school year and not just orientation week.

  • joshua
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Does anyone else think its a bit crazy to call our pm a Nazi?

    Does this guy even know who the Nazis were?
    Disgusting and moronic.

  • NewfieLady
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Best.Concert.Ever!!

  • Mack Furlong
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Just to let you know Justin, frosh week used to be called orientation week years ago when acts that were much bigger that Our Lady of Peace would sell out the 'old' TSC every couple of weeks throughout the entire school year and not just orientation week.

  • joshua
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Does anyone else think its a bit crazy to call our pm a Nazi?

    Does this guy even know who the Nazis were?
    Disgusting and moronic.