Canadian rock icon Matt Good is starting to make Campbell River a more regular stop at this point in his career, and on Monday night he brought his current solo acoustic tour through town.
His legions of fans once again filed through the doors of the Tidemark Theatre for the sold-out show. While most had likely seen Good before – he’s been a fixture on the Canadian music scene for over 20 years, after all – few, if any, were prepared for the show that they were about to experience.
The night opened with 24-year-old Sarah Botelho, the Toronto-based musician currently taking the music world by storm under the name Poesy.
Poesy and her lone keyboardist may have been unimposing as they wandered out on stage, but that soon changed. As she lifted her voice into the first song, the audience immediately knew they were dealing with serious a force of nature.
With a powerful and clear but somehow also gritty voice reminiscent of enigmatic artists like Florence Welsh of Rage against the Machine or Adele, Poesy’s set was part “jaded lover,” part “youthful optimism” and entirely riveting from beginning to end.
After a short intermission, Good came out to raucous applause, slung up his acoustic guitar and proceeded to perform his own songs completely re-imagined for the instrument.
Those who were hoping to hear him play the songs they already know and love on a different instrument than usual may have been disappointed, but they’re his songs and he has more of a right than anyone else to cover them in whatever way he wants to.
And cover them he did.
With entirely new chord progressions and a dark, somber tone, the only familiar aspects of the songs were the lyrics, and even the words often took some time to recognize without the familiar melodies accompanying them. Good played songs from throughout his over-20-year catalogue of hits, and even die-hard fans of those original versions would have to admit his fresh takes on those old songs were certainly intriguing.
Only “Apparitions” was in any way recognizable less than three chords into the song, and it was easily the highlight of the night as Good continued to showed off his vocal talents that certainly haven’t gotten any worse for wear over the years.
And Good himself was his in high spirits once again, jovially joking with the crowd between songs, including filling us all in on his views on various historical non-fiction television shows, as well as how he’d like to see Game of Thrones get wrapped up. (Hint…it involves Sansa Stark taking over the world with her newfound magical ability to shoot lasers from her eyes.)
All in all, it was another fantastic show hosted by the good folks at the Tidemark Theatre.
Next Friday, Feb. 15, Campbell River’s own Carter Johnson will join the Vancouver Island Symphony, young up-and-comer Ria Mae will return to town two days later for her make-up date after falling ill prior to her first scheduled show late last year, Canadian country duo Doc Walker take the stage on the 19th and another batch of Canadian rock icons – Chilliwack – return the following Friday, Feb. 22 – with the amazing Victoria-based bluesman Jesse Roper.