Published Aug 21, 2016In opening with the one-two Beautiful Midnight punch of "Giant" and "Load Me Up," Matthew Good's voice was a touch softer than usual, not reaching for high notes quite as easily as he has in the past. Chalking it up to wear and tear from his band's current tour stretch, Good strayed from hitting the high notes in "Hello Time Bomb" and "Apparitions," saving himself for later on to push his register when it really counted — during the emotive "Weapon."
With at least two of Good's regular mainstays in tow (guitarist Stuart Campbell and drummer Blake Manning), the atmosphere on the stage was loose. The band not only made things interesting for the audience, but for themselves too, by breaking "Load Me Up" in two, inserting "Carmelina" in the middle. At one point, Good even gave the drummer some, planting a kiss on Manning's cheek; Manning lit up a cigarette behind the drumkit mid song. The band may have lost count of how many times they've played "Born Losers" or "Alert Status Red" live, but their performances remained no less powerful or phoned in.
A middle section of the set saw Good turn to his Juno-nominated 2015 disc Chaotic Neutral, bringing the dynamic changes of the title track, the inspired instrumental breaks of "Cold Water" and "All Your Sons and Daughters" to life cleanly. Though the majority of the audience responded better to the hits, one would certainly be remiss to not dig into newer fare from Good and company.