“We’re all in the Twilight Zone where everyone thinks it’s still the 90′s” joked Sloan frontman Chris Murphy. In an evening that featured performances by four bands that enjoyed their most commercial success during that decade, it was a chance for longtime fans to relive their childhood and for new fans to hear what these bands were all about.
First up was Eve 6 who were playing their first show in Toronto since reforming and releasing their 2012 record “Speak In Code.” They only played one track from that album (lead single “Victoria”) otherwise sticking to their most popular songs from their older records. A delighted crowd sang along to “Inside Out” as manic singer/bassist Max Collins pranced around the stage and gleefully abused his bass tech. It was a thoroughly enjoyable set and I look forward to catching Eve 6 again.
Next up was I Mother Earth who performed as a six-piece with Brian Byrne on vocals (sorry Edwin fans). They absolutely stole the show with frenetic renditions of Summertime in the Void, Rain Will Fall and Earth, Sky & C. The chatter was kept brief except for a moment when Byrne had to scold a couple fans who were fighting in the crowd. “It’s okay to get a little rowdy, but always be peaceful” he said. Due to the lengthy nature of their material, they were only able to play five songs, but it was a case of quality over quantity. I get the feeling I Mother Earth won over a lot of people that night.
Sloan followed with what was essentially a thirteen song greatest hits set. Chris Murphy made a point to remind the audience that Sloan has been releasing records continuously since 1991 and that they have plenty of new material beyond the 90′s. Despite this, (and probably wisely), the majority of their set consisted of their older material. (though Underwhelmed was conspicuously absent) It was a laid back set and singer/guitarist Patrick Pentland appeared bored at times, but Sloan delivered plenty of crowd pleasers.
Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for headliner Our Lady Peace who filled their set with newer songs. Vocalist Raine Maida seemed to struggle to hit his notes and the majority of the material they played was average at best. Every so often they’d play a “Clumsy” or a “Superman’s Dead” prompting an audience singalong, but it became painfully obvious that over the past fifteen years Our Lady Peace has been recording bad, bad music. Almost to drive the point home they premiered an atrocious new single titled “Won’t Turn Back.” Near the end of their set they unveiled a brutal cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness”. As a teenager I was a hardcore Our Lady Peace fan, but after seeing them at Edgefest I think they are one band best left in the 90′s.