Review by Marc Rocheleau
Photos by Gene Schilling
While a receptive crowd cheered on, Our Lady Peace made their first visit to Lacasse Park memorable.
For Our Lady Peace, it was the band’s first Windsor/Essex county appearance in 11-years, but worth the wait. Arguably the biggest act to play Tecumseh’s Cornfest, OLP plowed through hits and new songs alike – rarely coming up for air.
After opening band Whale Tooth warmed up the crowd with an energetic set, bantering off and on between songs, the crowd buzzed in anticipation for the main act. As 9:30 rolled around and they began chanting OLP, the band got ready to start the show – first pausing to join hands and then breaking apart in a sign of unity. After this, they were ready to hit the stage.
With the crowd erupting, Steve Mazur’s guitar screeched as drummer Jeremy Taggart counted him and bassist Duncan Coutts in for an aggressive version of Monkey Brains. As Rain Maida’s trademark vocals rang out from the speakers, the crowd was firmly in the palm of OLP’s hand from the start.
The band continued with two earlier hits, Naveed and Superman’s Dead. The large crowd sang along for the latter, one of many times Maida got them involved in the show. Other highlights included an intense version of Escape Artist (from their last album, Burn Burn,) a semi-acoustic version of Is Anybody Home? where the band joined halfway in and the crowd participated again. OLP also showcased new song The Wolf, complete with a fuzzy and funky bassline that propeled the tune forward.
Perhaps the most emotional part of the night however came when Maida introduced a special (and rare) performance of Thief. The song, with a sparse electric guitar arrangement, was dedicated to late NDP leader Jack Layton.
“I’d like to dedicate this to Jack Layton,” he said. “No matter your politics, he was a great Canadian.”
In addition to these moments, Maida took many opportunities to climb around the stage. OLP played most fan favourites including One Man Army, Clumsy, Somewhere Out There, All You Did Was Save My Life and Innocent, which closed out the main set. During their encore, 4 a.m., and In Repair made appearances before Starseed ended the concert and left fans wanting more – including Tecumseh mayor Gary McNamara, who could be seen near the stage clapping along to songs during the show.
The concert, generally considered to be the end of summer in Windsor/Essex County, was also the end of OLP’s summer tour. Maida announced that the band will now be returning to the studio to continue work on a new album.
While attendance is currently unknown, great weather conditions and entertainment most likely led to the biggest concert for Cornfest organizers so far. While nobody knows who will headline next year, one thing’s for sure: Whoever it is will have a hard time topping Our Lady Peace.
OLP’s Tecumseh Cornfest Setlist:
Is Anybody Home? (Semi-solo acoustic)
Thief (electric guitar/vocals only – dedicated to Jack Layton)
One Man Army
Somewhere Out There
All You Did Was Save My Life/Life (snippet)