Our Lady Peace – with Lenny at the Middle East Cafe – Review

Our Lady Peace

with Lenny at the Middle East Cafe
by Joe Hacking

Suddenly, I’m at the Middle East, trying to push some old, complimentary Middle East money off on the bartenders. Luckily, they honored it (thanks guys) and I’m drinking a Newcastle, having no idea what I’m about to hear. A band hits the stage, and I think it’s the headliner, Our Lady Peace, and I’m scribbling away in my notebook for twenty minutes, blown away by the band. The bartender, Curtis, and I are digging this group, and we’re convinced that this is the New Sound, but then the set’s over quick and we’re confused. Come to find out it was local act, Lenny. With their Clash-like compositions, manic drummer, and tight, stack-laden stage power, Lenny is a definite must-see in the local scene. If you like the gutsy, early ’80s sound with a drummer who tries to make his kit a lead instrument, see Lenny.

As for Our Lady Peace, they just came from opening band duty on the Page/Plant tour in the Midwest. The influence of those two hard rock gods was apparent in the inspired set they laid down. OLP is a very balanced band, the bassist jams just as well as the guitarist, the drummer keeps it just under a dull roar and the lead vocals are impassioned. They rocked the place. There was a weird placing of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” in the middle of the set, and an unidentified, garbled Pixies song (Curtis couldn’t tell), but they were solid. Not as good as Lenny, though.

Yet the Zeppelin aura clinging to Our Lady Peace seemed to make things happen that night. I had somebody buying me beers, Curtis telling me about his discovery of a woman worth chasing across the country (I’m still amazed), and a woman, high on something, kissing my neck at the end of the evening. Expect anything when Our Lady Peace comes to town.