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Our Lady Peace
w/ Ash and Greenwheel
July 17, 2002
Verizon Theater - Houston, TX

Samuel Barker
Senior Editor
Ryan Jordan of Greenwheel(picture by Samuel Barker)
Ryan Jordan of Greenwheel
(picture by Samuel Barker)
When Our Lady Peace came to town as part of the first Buzzfest way back in 1995, they were one of small group of bands seen as up and coming rock giants. From this group only two bands still have radio presence, Bush and Our Lady Peace.

While Bush has gone on to headline arena tours, Our Lady Peace has never reached that point, at least not as a headliner. This performance at the Verizon Wireless Theater showed the band still had support, as a sold-out audience packed in to watch the band support their new album, Gravity.

Those who came to see the band had a difficult time doing so, as the band came out and, for the majority of the set, remained in a darkness highlighted by a metallic sign and pale spotlights. For most, this did not sway them from singing along on the bandís numerous radio tracks, as well as personal favorites.

The had definitely made strides from that first summer performance here in Houston, but they still have a long way to go in realizing rock is about the brightness of energy, not hiding in the dark.

One band that did grasp the concept of brightness and energy was Ash, who opened for Our Lady Peace. This young Irish group did not seem to fit the bill coming between alternative rockers Greenwheel and Our Lady Peace.

Sounding like a throwback from the early-90ís grunge punk movement, Ash bounced around the stage, told stories of getting drunk with fans who drove in from Austin and played some upbeat, fuzz-laden rock songs.

The show opened with Greenwheel, who are a new band in the same vein as Our Lady Peace. However, this band had no problem playing with energy as lead vocalist, Ryan Jordan, threw himself about and worked hard to get the slowly growing audience into the set.

Playing songs from their new album Soma Holiday, Greenwheel was greeted by a few fans who knew lyrics outside of those for their lead single, Breathe, and greeted them with genuine excitement, though most were still trying to find their seats or check out the merch booth.

Our Lady Peace could learn a lesson from their openers and give people a rock show rather than hiding in the dark working on seeming mysterious. Rock music is supposed to have flair and make people want to move around, not squint and try to make out which shadow is playing bass and which is playing guitar.

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