"Time marches forward" and "Nothing remains the same" may be two clichés rooted in truth, but what we sometimes forget is that change can be a good – and even a freeing — thing.
I'd been living with and enjoying Steven Page's new album (Page One) for a while and was looking forward to seeing the tracks from this — and possibly his previous solo album The Vanity Project — performed live. But what of those perfectly classic Steven Page songs that could be classified as belonging to that other part of his life (For those who've been living under a rock Page left Barenaked Ladies, the band he co-founded twenty years ago, last year)? Would there be none of them? If so, would I leave disappointed?
There was no reason to worry.
As the starting time neared, I was struck by the size of the crowd – much smaller than I anticipated. Don't get me wrong, I happen to be a huge fan of intimate performances, which is exactly how I would describe what followed, but it somehow felt wrong for there to be so few bodies. Surely, this small group weren't the only ones who knew what a master-vocalist and expert song stylist was about to take the stage?
This well kept secret certainly needs to be shared.
In the near two hours Page performed, he delivered a good chunk of the new album; treated us to a few well-chosen covers; and, yes, spattered in some of those classics. But one thing was evidently clear from note one: this night wasn't going to be a heart-warming stroll down memory lane, it was about fresh starts and a new lease.
My first glance at the set stage spoke volumes as to what we were about to be treated to. With more like a small orchestra than a band behind him, he launched into "A New Shore" the first track from Page One. With the strong voice and crystal clear tone that drew me to this artist years ago, he sang of facing life's changes head on. An autobiographical slice of life? Perhaps. But it also served as a reminder that as much as things change, they tend to stay the same.