Q and Not U
Back in July, when Q and Not U announced its disbandment and promised a cluster of farewell shows toward summer's end, the actual dissolution seemed a ways off. But now that those final show dates have arrived, the discordant punk-funk band is selling its van and die-hard fans are holding their "Hot and Informed" seven-inchers more tightly than ever.
At the Black Cat on Thursday night, during the first of two shows the band is playing with Supersystem, singer-guitarists Christopher Richards (a Washington Post copy aide) and Harris Klahr and drummer John Davis talked little about the group's leaving the scene, instead devoting their time to leaving the sold-out crowd with one last memorable live show.
They got through a good chunk of their set -- which included the irresistible synth groan of "Wonderful People" and the forceful drum thump of "Beautiful Beats," both from last year's "Power" -- before addressing the crowd.
"People are asking, 'How do you feel, how do you feel, how do you feel?' " Richards said. "I say, if you're from D.C., 'How do you feel?' I feel like D.C. has always been a member of the band."
When the remarks were over and the music resumed, the room gave Q and Not U a proper appreciative send-off: They thrashed through the political rager "X-Polynation," chanted and spelled along with "Soft Pyramids," and, at the end of the night, they jumped onstage and danced until Richards finally said, "Washington, D.C.! Thank you!"
-- Sarah Godfrey
Our Lady Peace
Our Lady Peace played like a band trying to make up for lost time at the 9:30 club Thursday night. The Canadian rockers tended to segue seamlessly from song to song in their 90-minute set, with frontman Raine Maida saying little except the usual "Thank you" and the always puzzling "Are you guys with us?"
The group has been off the radar for three years, but they needn't have worried about their fans forgetting them: The show was sold out, and the crowd responded warmly to songs off Our Lady Peace's new album, "Healthy in Paranoid Times."
With a stark black stage decorated only with a backdrop of bare, colorless trees and occasionally blinding lights, the look of the show matched the 13-year-old band's driving rock, which favors delicate intros and subsequent explosions of guitar and drums. All of its hits were accounted for, including "Starseed" and "Clumsy," while the big guns were saved for the encore: "Somewhere Out There" and "Superman's Dead" -- aka the "ay-yee-yi-yee-yi" song containing, at once, the world's catchiest and most irritating chorus -- closed the night.
The one time Maida did talk at length included a note of pleased awe: "Sometimes you go away for three years -- but you guys came back!" Suddenly, the title of the new album made sense.
-- Tricia Olszewski