Good music comes in pairs

Canadian artists Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk share personal stories in Mississauga concert

Many have heard of Raine Maida from his role as the lead vocalist and guitarist of Toronto band Our Lady Peace. However, OLP isn’t Maida’s only occupation. In 2007, he launched his solo career with the release of his first solo album, A Hunter’s Lullaby. Since then, he’s released another full album in 2013, entitled We All Get Lighter.

Chantal Kreviazuk is an equally influential Canadian musician. Born in Winnipeg, Kreviazuk is a four-time JUNO Award winner and has released five studio albums, including her debut album from 1997, Under These Rocks and Stones.

Referred to as one of Canada’s “most influential cultural couples”, Maida and Kreviazuk have teamed up to produce a collaboration project called MOON vs. SUN. This compilation of songs combines influences from both of their musical careers and deals with topics of their partnership together.

On February 12, Maida and Kreviazuk brought MOON vs. SUN to the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. The performance included Kreviazuk on piano and vocals, Maida on acoustic guitar and vocals, and a drummer, cellist, and violinist as accompaniment.

The show was undeniably a magical event—excuse my corny language. Maida and Kreviazuk carried the performance with a contagious amount of confidence and energy. They played comfortably in front of the crowd and exchanged comedic banter and family stories in between songs. Their relaxed, charming attitudes definitely made the show an intimate event.

The set list provided a nice balance of songs from the duo’s musical careers, including OLP covers and songs from MOON vs. SUN. The duo performed Kreviazuk’s hit song “Before You”, which she explained is a reflection on her relationship with Maida. The pair also performed Maida’s popular singles “Yellow Brick Road” from A Hunter’s Lullaby and “Montreal” from We All Get Lighter.

My favourite songs of the evening were the OLP covers. Maida and Kreviazuk performed some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Innocent”, “In Repair”, “Clumsy”, and “Superman’s Dead”. What made these songs unique, however, was their melodic reconditioning. The ensemble played the songs with completely different melodies and instrumentation than the original tracks, leaving only the lyrics as a reminder of their OLP origins. As a long-time fan of OLP, it was like hearing these songs for the first time.

The duo’s cover of “Superman’s Dead” was by far the best song of the night. Rather than Maida leading the song with vocals and guitar, this version featured Kreviazuk on piano and vocals. Kreviazuk’s voice was like a surge of energy that reached everyone in the crowd. With a slow tempo, drawn-out vocals, and the string accompaniment backing Kreviazuk’s piano-playing, this cover was both an eerie and stunning rendition to OLP’s upbeat rock song.

Equally enchanting were songs from MOON vs. SUN. Maida and Kreviazuk played newly written pieces such as “I Love It When You Make Me Beg” and “I’m Going to Break Your Heart”. Alongside their banter and family stories, Maida and Kreviazuk explained the inspiration behind their music, which mostly involves love, family, and their life together. Although they often ventured off on a tangent about their writing process, I found it to be a personal aspect to the show that humanized their music and formed a bond with the audience.

While this performance was no Our Lady Peace rock concert, the night showed a different side to both Maida and Kreviazuk. Watching your favourite artists perform alongside their family changes your perception of them and their music. Maida and Kreviazuk’s MOON vs. SUN tour is a humbling experience that, if one is given the opportunity, should not be missed.

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