I still had to line up for an hour outside the Rivoli, but that was my own fault for not getting there earlier (got there at around 8:30 - first band went on at 8, and the "special guest" that everyone was pumped about was scheduled to go on at midnight)
Who was that special guest, you ask? Well, it was the band that my life revolved around from the ages of 13 to probably around 19 or so: Our Lady Peace.
When I was a teenager, everything I did, lived, breathed, etc... it was all about OLP for me. I was known to all my friends as "olpphreak"
I fell out of the scene shortly after their Gravity album was released, and guitarist Mike Turner announced that he was leaving the band. After he left, nothing felt right about OLP for me anymore, and I closed the door on that chapter of my life.
I bought their "Live" cd which was released a year or two later, but it just wasn't the same.
I saw them at Live 8... and I thought it was the most horrible thing I had ever seen in my life. I vowed to never see them again, because it was just ruining my youth at that point.
So, fast forward to a few days ago. It was leaked on facebook (via Jeremy Taggart, OLP's drummer - who is on my friends list... who, for the record, I had 3 drum lessons with, back in the obsession days. One of the coolest things I've ever done) that they would be playing a small club show. I started to think about it.
I still had no concrete CMW plans for Thursday night. I decided what I would do is go to the Rivoli (where OLP was playing), and if the lineup was crazy long, I'd just go down to the Horseshoe (about 50 feet away) to see the ChartAttack showcase.
I got to the venue at around 8:30, and the line was only about 6-7 people deep. I asked if they were still letting media in, but alas, no, and he sent me to the back of the line. They were at capacity for wristbands/passes, but were saving room for guestlist, and people who had actually bought tickets to the show. The line got longer behind me. A few people dropped out in front of me. I texted some friends of mine (who I actually met through the Our Lady Peace message board - the Clumsy Congress - and we've been very good friends ever since then, for more than 10 years now) and they were already inside, so I figured I might as well wait in line a little longer, even if just to see them.
Finally at around 10 minutes to 9pm, I got in. (Did I mention it was absolutely FREEZING in Toronto last night?)
Saw two bands before OLP went on: Cure Gravity (they were okay, kind of generic, nothing really memorable, but not bad either) and Hail The Villain (reminded me a lot of Billy Talent, but not quite as good yet... WAY too loud - I was standing right by the speaker to get good pics) - and one band afterward: Inward Eye (very good rock, from Winnipeg)
OLP took the stage at midnight. My inner 16-year-old could barely breathe :) I remember looking at the pictures that the photographers took at those small clubs, when I was too young to get in, and thinking "some day... that will be me."
That day was last night.
It wasn't nearly as magical as it would have been when I was 16. But I was still in awe of myself at that moment.
They played one or two new songs. A few songs that were on their last albums that I didn't recognize, and then some older songs like Innocent, Clumsy and Superman's Dead (can't help but think of Mike Turner, every time I hear the "ooo ooo ... ooo weee ooo" line in the background at the end of the song. They closed with Starseed, a perennial favourite.
It was good.
After the show, Jeremy remembered me... I met the new guitarist, Steve (who complimented my shirt)... and my heart did not skip a beat, as it would have if I were that 16-year-old, meeting her favourite band.
I'm over my hatred of them.
I just don't think I'll ever love them the same way again.
I leave you with a picture :) (I took close to a million, it seems LOL... It'll take a while to actually get a photo set web-ready... but here's one I snapped of OLP with my wide angle lens)