Stampede, Calgary - Jul 12, 1997

BLAIR S. WATSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:30 PM ET

The weather was certainly against them, but Vancouver's Odds still drew thousands of people.

Due to an irritatingly cold breeze and the odd, menacing cloud, it was expected that attendance yesterday at the Stampede's Coca-Cola stage would pale in comparison to previous days.

But that just wasn't the case.

The pop-rock band packed them in for a raucous, raging set of Odds hits, including Make You Mad from the band's latest CD, Nest.

Yet there was something odd about the platinum-selling act.

Missing was singer-guitar player Craig Northey.

He flew back home to be with his wife, who was apparently having a baby.

The band recruited singer-guitar player and former Calgarian Glen Reid from Vancouver's Bloody Chicklets.

With Northey handling about one-half of the lead vocal duties, this could have been a catastrophe of epic proportions, but Odds are pretty much a faceless act.

It was their four-album history of pop gems the crowd came to hear.

And considering the situation, fans weren't disappointed. The Vancouver act served it up in a surprisingly solid and tight manner considering the last-minute substitution.

Fans all around the stage transformed the venue area into a pulsing, grooving entity that was fully locked into the band's radio-ready rock.

Body surfing was the order of the day as remaining lead vocalist Steven Drake led his band to one -- if not the most -- successful shows of this or previous Stampedes.

It was a huge accomplishment considering the last-minute lineup change.

However, the band did have to resort to some filler.

Their cocky wit and cheeky delivery certainly pleased fans even when the band launched into Roy Orbison's hit, Only the Lonely and other various tunes which leaned towards the lounge variety.

Fans screamed emphatically, buying into the band's quirky shtick.It was quite a gamble for the band to do this show -- obviously, they felt the odds were in their favor.

But at last night's Coca-Cola stage performance, the Odds were surely in their audience's favor.

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