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Last November, Steven Page, the former lead singer of The Barenaked Ladies was supposed to play in Montreal at the Olympia Theater. A few days before the show, he decided to push it back until February. Why? Because he wanted to perform with The Goo Goo Dolls who were coming in town. Last night, Steven Page and The Goo Goo Dolls returned to Montreal for the long awaited show.

Steven Page (Review by Kemba)

Steven Page came onto the stage, ready to go, plunging straight into A New Shore, from his solo album, Page One. He couldn’t have started with a better song; the former Barenaked Ladies frontman sang,
“As captain of this band of merry sailors I'm a black mark/I'm a failure, but before you watch me drown/I'm relinquishing command for something I don't understand/This man's about to turn his whole life upside down”

The song says it all, really. After, he declared, “We are Steven Page,” then proceeded to introduce each band member as Steven Page. It was reminiscent of the music video for his single, Indecision.

It was a pleasant surprise to hear Jane, from the days of Barenaked Ladies, next. Little did we know that this would be the first of many songs from his former band. He followed this up with The Old Apartment.

She’s Trying to Save Me and Clifton Springs launched the crowd into his newer material, perhaps demonstrating to the skeptics that he won't back down anytime soon. While he made an error in one of his lyrics, he admitted it and kept singing, never once missing a beat.

It’s All Been Done was an obvious Barenaked Ladies fan favorite. What was unexpected, however, was that upon belting out the lyric, "Will I see you on The Price Is Right?" the band broke into the theme song for game show, The Price is Right. The older members of the crowd recognized and appreciated the throwback.

The set ended with Barenaked Ladies' Brian Wilson. I quite enjoyed the mix of old and new tracks; there’s nothing better than experiencing the songs that originally won many fans over, while listening to and learning the new songs. Not to mention that Steven Page's solo album, Page One, is well executed; it manages to be reflective while remaining catchy.

Steven Page interacted with the crowd quite a bit; I’m not sure whether the language barrier had an effect, or perhaps the hugely varied age range of the members of the audience, but his quips were hit and miss. However, his joy surrounding Arcade Fire’s recent Award of the Year win at the Grammy Awards was infectious. The Montreal crowd cheered for the Montreal-based band that had recently been thrust into the spotlight. That being said, the occasional awkward pauses had no effect on his music. There is no doubt that Steven Page is a seasoned musician, and will continue to entertain his audience in this new chapter of his musical career.

Goo Goo Dolls (Review by Terr)

As the soundcheck readied the stage for the Goo Goo Dolls, I glanced at the crowd only to realize that they were a mixed bunch; there were older people and teenagers all intertwined which is really impressive for a band that has been around for a quarter century. Mike Malinin surfaced behind the drum kit causing a loud roar in the theater. A few seconds later, the two original members of the dolls took stage; John Rzeznik and Robby Takac.

Putting on a smile that would last the whole night, Rzeznik began singing Sweetest Lie off their latest record, Something For The Rest of Us; The crowd danced along. It didn't take long for the Goo Goo Dolls to dish out the classics like 2002's Big Machine and 1998's Slide.

Rzeznik took a few vocal breaks as Robby, the original Goo Goo Dolls singer, took over on the mic for a few tracks like Now I Hear and Tucked Away. Rzeznik introduced Name as the song that changed his life forever; afterall, it was the song that bought fame to the Goo Goo Dolls and caused a fundamental shift in their music and lyrical style. The last song before the encore was a modified take on the classic song Iris.

Coming back to the stage with the typical Montreal "ole, ole" chant, Rzeznik couldn't help but join in with the crowd for a bit.They ended the night with Notbroken and Broadway.

The Goo Goo Dolls set was clear of any bells and whistles; they focused on their music and rocked it out without relying on gimmicks. You could tell by the smiles on their faces that they had a blast doing it too. Their set could have been a tad longer but with Stephen Page as their headliner, we can't really complain. Click on the image below to see our photos from the show and make sure to check back in the next few days when we post our video interview with the Goo Goo Dolls.
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Goo Goo Dolls @ l’Olympia – Feb 16th, 2011