The Raine came down on Echo Beach last night…. but (for once) I’m not talking about precipitation! Raine Maida and major rockers Our Lady Peace headlined the final installment of Edgefest Summer Concert Series. It brought my heart so much joy and nostalgic nourishment to see Eve 6, I Mother Earth, Sloan, and OLP play together on the same stage. It has been 20 years since Our Lady Peace released Naveed and they have maintained and improved on every ounce of their golden-age status that I can remember.
I have thoroughly enjoyed attending 102.1 The Edge’s Summer Concert Series! It was an excellent idea to draw out the fun throughout the summer instead of just one arbitrary festival day. We got to party hard with Canadiana pride on Canada Day, and continued with new-age coastal rock in mid-July. With the 20th anniversary of when Our Lady Peace released Naveed, it was most appropriate to have a throwback closer – as OLP is releasing a new album and have a hot new single “Won’t Back Down”. My girlfriends and I met up at Echo Beach and danced our way through the crowd to get a prime spot in front of the stage during Eve 6’s set – lo-and-behold, we realized we were standing in front of the 4 tallest gentlemen in the venue (score!!). They dwarfed our 5’9” figures and we made small talk with them – maybe hoping that we’d end up on their shoulders. Better yet, we chilled with them the rest of the night and we became fast friends! Each of the tall-gentlemen had an OLP song that was “their jam” and they were waiting all night for Raine and the boys to play it – they ranged from Somewhere Out There, to Thief, to Innocent and Naveed- my personal OLP jam is 4am – but I’ll get to that later.
If you were there, you’d understand the goosebumps that came over me when the lights were dimmed and there was a 2minute intro before the band made their entrance. The suspense was palpable and Raine entered carrying a mega-phone, which is not new for him, but it reminded me of Scott Weiland when I went to the STP show in Toronto years ago! Raine has been on a journey – from his solo career release The Hunters Lullaby in 2007, to releasing Curve with OLP in 2012, there has been a strong following all these years. He looked better than ever on stage, I think we’d all like to dip into that fountain of youth. When the set took off, everyone was singing every lyric as hard as we could – it was great to look around me and bond with the other couples, the fast friends I made had each claimed one of my girls and I to wrap their arms around so we had dancing partners for the whole set (and balance beams in case we got pushed around).
The pinnacle of the evening came near the end of the night – Raine had just finished singing the new single Won’t Back Down and was climbing the scaffolding! He then talked about how much he loved Toronto and always valued growing up here. He admits to having a very happy life (married to Chantal Kreviazuk with three beautiful children, now living in LA), but there’s something about the melancholy of August nights and the neighboring CNE that gets him into a nostalgic state. He then went on to do a beautiful cover of Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness and just at that moment, the CNE Fireworks went off across the water. I didn’t know what to do with myself in that moment – I shed a tear from the profound beauty of the moment – the culmination of a few things: the coincidence of events, the idea that summer was fleeting, and the pure joy of seeing a band that I have so much respect for just own the show. My girls and I held each other, smiling ear to ear with tears across our cheeks and I just wanted to capture that moment in a locket and wear it around my neck.
Raine closed the show with 4 A.M. and as the crowd sang every lyric from the bottom of our hearts, Raine commented that it felt as if we were taking it to Church (…possibly… the church of Our Lady Peace?). It was hard to let the evening go after such an experience, we all walked away so satisfied – my heart was so happy, it felt like a balloon filling with air too quickly – it might have burst! The comradery and good-mood of everyone as we walked out of the venue and through the CNE grounds surpassed my expectations of the night. I am grateful for such a fitting end to The Edge’s Summer Concert Series.
Our Lady Peace
I Mother Earth