Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto - April 3, 2012

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:11 AM ET

TORONTO - Veteran Toronto alt-rock band Our Lady Peace celebrated the release of their effects-heavy yet fresh-sounding new album, Curve, on Tuesday night with a sold-out show in front of a chanting, sing-along-happy hometown crowd at the Phoenix.

It was part of OLP’s so-called Urban Grind tour which began last Thursday night in London, Ont., but even lead singer Raine Maida, who’s been playing in T.O. for the last two decades, couldn’t believe the reception he, drummer Jeremy Taggart, bassist Duncan Coutts and lead guitarist Steve Mazur were getting from the audience sardined into the downtown theatre.

“You guys are quite the crowd,” said Maida as he began the first of two encores with one of Curve’s best songs, the percussive-fuelled As Fast as You Can, which is also the next single.

“I was born and raised in Toronto and you couldn’t have told me the hottest show of the tour would be right here in this room,” he said earlier.

It certainly felt after a rocky last decade during which OLP has had both commercial success and failure, near breakups and split from their longtime record company, the band - and their fans - were in full celebration mode.

“OLP! OLP! OLP!” chanted the audience before the group, touring with a female keyboardist, played a single note.

“This is the day Curve is officially here,” said Maida. “We’re proud fathers today and happy you guys are here.”

The band opened their hour-and-35-minute set with two more appealing Curve songs, Allowance, and Fire In The Henhouse, with some nifty visuals projected on a screen behind them, before digging deep into their back catalogue with crowd favourites Clumsy, One Man Army (during which Maida brought out the bullhorn for the first time) and Superman’s Dead, which prompted the first three major sing-alongs of the night.

Similar responses occurred to Is Anybody Home?, Innocent, and encore songs 4am and Starseed, the latter where it all began for OLP.

There was also a more intimate stripped down moment in the show during the song Julia featuring just Maida and Mazur on acoustic guitar - he gets the evening’s MVP award for his stand out playing on electric guitar - but the crowd really came to rock.

Curve boasts a vintage black and white picture of now retired Canadian heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo on its cover and you can hear him speaking on the last song, Mettle, so Maida - a longtime martial artist and boxing and UFC fan - dedicated the album’s first single, Heavyweight, to him before the band performed the song, even though the fighting icon wasn’t in Tuesday night’s crowd.

Maida said the 74-year-old Chuvalo was busy continuing to set an example by “teaching little kids to box” but was represented by wife Joanne at the show.

SET LIST:

Allowance

Fire in the Henhouse

Clumsy

One Man Army

Superman’s Dead

All My Friends

The Birdman

Is Anybody Home?

Julia

Find Our Way

In Repair

Innocent

Heavyweight

Encore:

As Fast as You Can

Paper Moon

4am

Second Encore

Starseed


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