Hard to believe that Lifehouse’s biggest hit so far, “Hanging by a Moment” came out almost 18 years ago.
It would go on to be one of the top Billboard songs of 2001, at that time Napster was just being sued by the likes of Metallica and Dr. Dre, and vital member, Bryce Soderberg wasn’t even in the picture for the band. And at the time I am writing this I can tell you that the show Lifehouse played this past Friday at the Avalon Theatre has been their best show of the year.
The Avalon is always a good venue to see a show. Its a medium sized auditorium right next to the Niagara Falls and Fallsview Casino. It usually fills with a good crowd who know 2/3 of the bands hits going in and leave knowing 2/3 more, and a reminder of the untapped talent the mainstream media seems to have put aside. On their first show of the year, they managed to keep most of the crowd on their feet and singing along to popular chorus’ like “Halfway gone, halfway gone”, and “I’m falling even more in love with you”.
Lifehouse started the set off with their most recent radio hit ‘Hurricane’. Hurricane is from their newest studio album ‘Out of the Wasteland’ released in 2017, which has a new alternative pop/rock feel to it. One of the best things about Lifehouse’s music is that all of his songs have a deep, relatable meaning to them, so even if you don’t know all the lyrics right away, halfway through you can usually figure out what Wade’s lyrics are trying to say and sing along just by being in the same space created by the lyrics and beat. Wade has worked with and gotten his songwriting inspiration from some of the biggest names in the industry. Playing live with bands like Matchbox 20 and The Rolling Stones, and working with legendary producer Ron Aniello.
The show isn’t just Wade though, they have 2 other official members. This is including Rick Woolstenhulme on percussion, who has been with the band since 2001, the 2nd longest permanent member. The show was also played with an unnamed, unofficial guitarist, Steve Stout, who crushed some memorable solos like in ‘Nerve Damage’, and on songs where Wade primarily sings he was able to keep the crowd on their feet and whistling with his creative riffs.
Throughout the show you can hear these amazing backing vocals from the other 3 musicians. Then in the 7th song of the set, you realize who in particular they are coming from. Pride was sung by the Canadian bassist, Bryce Soderberg. Wow does he ever have some vocals and emotion in his words. His song rivalled the response from the double encore, ‘You and Me’, and ‘Hanging by a Moment’, and for good reason. Bryce is in another band based in LA called KOMOX. They originally wrote one of Lifehouse’s fan favourites, ‘Stardust’, which unfortunately wasn’t played on Friday.
Wade and the group have been out of the mainstream media for quite some time now. The band enjoy just being able to play/write music from time to time and without so many external pressures. They have released 6 studio albums since their notorious ’No Name No Face’, not including their greatest hits record just released in 2017. Judging from their performance I would wager they still have some a few albums left in them, and who knows maybe even a new billboard hit? They may need to make a second side to their greatest hits record.
The show was 1 hour 20 minutes and included a 13 song set, not including another 2 during the encore. They had no opening act.
Setlist: Hurricane, All in, Halfway Gone, Sick Cycle Carousel, Nerve Damage, Somebody Else’s Song, Pride, Only One, Everything, Whatever it Takes, First Time, Spin, Broken.
Encore: You and Me, Hanging by a Moment.
Review by Daynan Lepore