Our Lady Peace brought their Wonderful Future (Theatrical Hologram Experience) Tour to the National Arts Centre on Tuesday night.
The tour’s stage setup featured two large rectangular boxes with holograms of various people presented during the show. The first two songs used this technology—”Are You Sad,” played by singer Raine Maida alone, and then “In Repair,” which started with Maida and bassist Duncan Coutts, who were then joined onstage by guitarist Steve Mazur.
During a singalong section of “Superman’s Dead,” Maida teased the crowd for having the reputation of being a conservative, mellow city, prompting a much more enthusiastic response.
The band’s two-act set included a collection of classic OLP songs, as well as new material from their latest release Spiritual Machines II. For a couple of older tracks, the band was joined by a hologram of original guitarist Mike Turner.
A holographic Sarah Slean later joined the band for a beautiful duet of the song “Julia.” Maida noted that in the 90s, an as-of-then unknown Slean sent the band a CD with her version of the song, which he said was so good that the band started doing her rendition of it on tour. Maida also announced it was Slean’s birthday, and took a few moments to record a video of the crowd singing her Happy Birthday.
Like both Spiritual Machines albums, the theme of the tour was inspired by the work of futurist Ray Kurzweil, who was present as a hologram and narrator, and accompanied by the AI character Cassandra. Their technology-positive message was that despite the current difficult times, we have a tremendous future ahead, where artificial intelligence helps us solve our most pressing problems. “We’re all going to be better…smarter and capable of much more than we’ve ever dreamed of. “
The band closed out the show with a trio of OLP classics: “4am,” “Naveed,” and “Starseed.” Raine Maida stopped to say, “I wanna thank you guys for coming along on this journey. Ray’s predictions for the future are amazing. We just wanna shine a light of positivity. Thank you for being here, sincerely from our hearts.”
Our Lady Peace’s most recent album, Spiritual Machines II, is available everywhere. The Wonderful Future tour continues through the summer.