Canadian rock icon Matthew Good is certainly aging, but he can still electrify a room like few others, and he proved it on Saturday at the Tidemark.
Fans still flock to his music as they have for nearly two decades, and his choice of the young – and even younger-looking – Scott Helman as his opening act on his latest tour in support of his latest album, Chaotic Neutral, made for an amazing show in the packed theatre.
Helman is a special talent who is definitely going places.
He and his band opened the night with a half-hour selection of songs. The three-piece ensemble produced a high-energy, powerful performance filled with youthful exuberance, yet with serious, thoughtful lyrics and short breaks of humorous banter between songs. The highlight of the set was either the melodic “Machine” from his debut album, Augusta, in which Helman laments the influence of smartphones and other technology on us as society, separating us under the guise of bringing us closer together, or the upbeat, boppy “Bungalow,” which had the crowd out of their seats and dancing in the aisles.
After a short intermission, Good came out and proceeded to absolutely bring the house down, despite some early technical difficulties with some effects pedals and patch cords, which actually turned into a nice little side plot in the story of the evening.
“Load Me Up” from the 1999 album Beautiful Midnight, which opened the set, was the first signal that he’s still got at least some of the energy of the young, angst-filled musician he was 15 years ago, and he continued to exhibit that throughout the rest of the night, playing a nice mix of older, heavier songs from his days with the Matt Good Band mixed with his newer, more mellow Matthew Good solo efforts.
Good warmed and cooled the audience emotionally and energetically, shifting seamlessly – once the technical difficulties got sorted out – from frenetic and heavy to light and melodic.
From his moody, sombre rendition of “Apparitions” (from 1998’s Underdogs) to his powerful, driving version of “Hello Time Bomb” (also from 1999’s Beautiful Midnight), along with a selection of songs from his newest album, released just last month, Good brought his A-game to the Tidemark Saturday, and gave those in attendance a show to remember for years to come.