Our Lady Peace, Paper Tongues at The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids

The Orbit Room, 12 September 2009

The show opened with locals, The Storied Life, taking to the stage to warm up the crowd. This five-piece has been around the Grand Rapids scene for a few years now, though its recent lineup is still quite fresh. Their performance this night certainly did prove that they had a right to be on such a stage.

The second band of the night is out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Paper Tongues is comprised of 7 members, including two keyboard players. This energetic group was quite interesting to see. They all seem to coordinate their dress in a somewhat subtle way, wearing leather or bomber like jackets, some having chains around their necks, tanks tops underneath. You just sense an overall theme. It was a warm night at the Orbit Room too, you kinda felt for them in their leather, especially as active as they were. Their lead singer, Aswan, especially was just in constant motion. They had great crowd interaction even though I was quite certain they weren’t all that well known to anyone since their debut album isn’t even out just yet. I am certain though, after such shows, they are gaining plenty of interest. I heard some complaints that their sound was a bit loud and overwhelming for the sound system, it distorted their intensity. This is common at this venue though, we cannot fault the band for this. Just look to the album to hear the songs for their true intent.

After a great gap between sets, headliners Our Lady Peace finally took to the stage. It was then made clear why the pause was just so long: the stage was just lit up with 5 panels of light boards plus various other strobes and lighting of sorts. It was brilliant. It made taking pictures quite the feat. The crowd was just thrilled with each song, every new and old one that passed through the sound system. The light boards had various visualizations that moved and phased along with the rhythm and mood of each song. It was quite mesmerizing. I stood along the back wall of the bar area to best observe it all and noted so many singing along to every song. Some of the more intoxicated fans even saw fit to almost mosh… yes… mosh to Our Lady Peace.

It was an excellent show, I felt. I saw what I needed to. Heard what I needed to. The three bands all seemed to mesh well together. It was my second time seeing Our Lady Peace and they are just a very consistently quality band. It would be interesting to see Paper Tongues again after the release of their album once they have gained a larger fan base to see the crowd interact more with them. Perhaps to even see what they might do with the stage if they had more of a say in it. I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.
Our Lady Peace, ourladypeace.com
Paper Tongues, papertongues.com