Matthew Good w/ Mother Mother @ The Centre For Performing Arts -- 11/09/09

It's probably no surprise that I have seen Matthew Good, who is my favourite musician, every year since '04. Either with a band or acoustic, venues large or small, I have never seen him live and been anything less than blown away. He's also had some great opening bands, and this tour is no less. I had known & seen Mother Mother before, and had been wanting to see them live again, so them being the opening band was an added bonus!

I fully admit, I wasn't a big fan of Mother Mother until I saw them opening for Sam Roberts, but since then they've grown on me and I'm more into them now than I was then. They definitely won me over that day with their infectious chords and near-perfectly harmonized melodies, and tonight was no different. It was a very solid set, which consisted mostly of their more well known songs, with a few others thrown in -- I think at least one new one as well. The entire set was energetic, but Hay Loft was probably the most so. They didn't talk much, but has a great stage presence nonetheless, letting the catchy indie-pop-rock speak for itself. And damn, are these folks talented. Singer & guitarist Ryan Guldemond pulled of a couple of incredible guitar solos while bassist Jeremy Page had a fantastic saxophone solo during one of the songs. That's not something you see enough in rock shows. My only complaint would have to be that it was too short.

After not too long (I've said before, but I have grown to love curfew shows) Matthew Good came out with his three member backing band. He kicked off the show with The Boy That Could Explode, followed by another few songs from the new album, Vancouver. He then delved into the catalogue a bit for some favourites, including Avalanche, which is always pretty amazing live, and Apparitions which had most of the crowd singing along. Just before he went into Vancouver National Anthem, he talked a bit about the bylaw making it illegal to protest the olympics and Burquitlam MLA Harry Bloy calling protestors "Terrorists" with "a limited intellect" (seriously). The main set ended with the combination of Weapon and Empty's Theme Park. I already knew Weapon was pretty epic live, but holy shit was Empty's a fantastic song live.
They came back out to the opening of Giant (still one of my favourite openers to any album ever) with everyone chanting and clapping along to the familiar: K-I-C-K-A-S-S. (claps) That's the way we spell success, before a couple more songs and ending with Champions of Nothing. The song seemed a bit reworked, with the opening being more acoustic then the rest of the band slowly coming in. It was another incredible song and fantastic way to end out the night.
There seemed to be a little less banter than usual, due to him getting over being sick just before the tour, but what little there was was definitely hilarious, in true Matt Good fashion. At one point he was joking about scalpers and them ripping people off, selling tickets for the wrong show: STP. "Man, Scott Weiland has put on weight.... and where's his fedora???"
Possibly the best moment of the night came out of riffing, going from Matt joking it wasn't quite "Bublé O'Clock", going to his bewilderment of how crooners like that work in an arena setting... which somehow led the band to start a jazz riff and Good improvising a lounge-y number of (an apparent true story) the time he looked out his window to find a ninja getting it on with a pirate. Pure gold.

An absolutely incredible night of music, and I can't wait to see either band live again.
OH WAIT! I'm going to the second show tonight!

The Boy Who Would Explode, Great Whales of the Sea, Fought To Fight It, Born Losers, Avalanche, [lounge song], Apparitions, Vancouver National Anthem, Last Parade, A Silent Army in the Trees, Blue Skies Over Badlands, Weapon, Empty's Theme Park
(encore) Giant, Us Remains Impossible, Champions of Nothing.