Moon vs Sun @ Corona Theatre – 11th May 2019

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Moon vs Sun on stage at Montreal's Corona Theatre

From the moment I heard Chantal Kreviazuk declare;
“I’m jaded
And you’re beautiful
I’m deluded
And I’m envious of you”
(God Made Me)
I knew that I could trust her.  That raspy voice full of angst and yearning, had the perfect amount of power and sweetness that urged me to rush to the record store buy her first album.  (I still listen to my “Under These Rocks and Stones” CD).

So, when I found out a few months ago that she and her husband Raine Maida (singer/songwriter for Our Lady Peace) were releasing an album together, I couldn’t wait to hear it. I was very curious as to how this new collaboration would sound and downloaded the album as soon as it was released (March 1st).  

Moon vs Sun on stage at Montreal's Corona Theatre in 2019

Calling themselves Moon Vs Sun, these two artists have joined forces to create some of their greatest work ever.  Together, by challenging each other and finding the perfect pitch they have created something truly unique. The combination of Chantal’s “adult contemporary” style and Raine’s “alternative rock” sound blend so beautifully that it was worth the 20-year wait.

The first time I listened to the album titled “I’m Going To Break Your Heart” I was shocked at how raw and painful some of the songs were.  I was even more shocked when I found myself sitting next to Raine and Chantal in the bed that John Lennon and Yoko Ono shared at The Queen Elizabeth Hotel.  (The actual room where “Give Peace a Chance” was recorded).

Moon vs Sun Raine and Chantal

They were in Montreal on the last stop of their tour and decided to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John and Yoko’s Bed-In For Peace by speaking to journalists about peace and love. Fully embracing that vibe, Chantal risked sounding “hippy dippy” by expressing her love and admiration of John and Yoko and reminding us that peace and love begin at home.

In a time where photos are filtered and people are basing their value on how many “likes” they get on Instagram, Chantal and Raine did something completely radical.  Like John and Yoko, they allowed us into their personal space and shared their experiences, views, and truth with the goal of simply making the world a better place.

Nestled on white bed linens, wearing white pajamas with real fluffy white clouds behind them, they treated us to a song.  After strumming the first few chords of “I Can Change” on his Epiphone, Raine glanced over at his wife and as their blue eyes locked, she immediately began to hum, coating his countertenor with her warm tone.  No one else made a sound as we all stood still, allowing their voices to wash over us. I felt an incredible positive energy that I can only describe as love. The spirit of John and Yoko were definitely present in room 1742.  As Chantal so eloquently stated maybe “I Can Change” is the new peace.

They continued to share their love and music later that evening at the Corona Theatre.  Beginning their set with the passionate “Under The Stars” from “I’m Going To Break Your Heart”, Chantal on keyboard and then Raine joining in on guitar.  Against the backdrop of a large moon and sun, there was no one else on stage with them, there was no need. Their voices and energy filled up the entire theater and everyone was feeling it.  

The Corona Theatre is one of my favorite venues and Raine and Chantal managed to make it even more intimate. Speaking directly to the audience, Raine apologized for being a little late, using his charming sense of humor, blamed his wife.  Their banter was quite witty and very relatable, especially for those of us who have been married for many years.

Chantal spotted a child in the audience and when she learned that it was his birthday, sang to him personally.  

The comic relief was much appreciated in between their deeply personal and emotional songs.  I mean the name of their new album is “ I’m going to break your heart”. The couple explained that eventually one of them will either die or leave because that’s what happens in a relationship.  Each song honestly revealed all the highs and lows which make up a marriage. It’s never easy or perfect but always worth fighting for.

As Chantal told me earlier about the new album;

“The songs were for us. Art is truth and people insert themselves into truth”.

Not since Jonny and June Carter Cash have I felt that kind of authenticity.  

Moon vs Sun at Montreal's Corona Theatre

“You say you forgive me
I can’t forgive everything you do
But I’m not good without you
I built my life around you“.

(Low Light is also the title of a Pearl Jam song)

The highlight of the evening was when they sang each other‘s songs. Hearing Chantal’s lyrics expressed by her husband was a lovely surprise. (Wayne).  As was their stunning version of The Cure’s “Love Song” for their encore. They closed with “Superman’s Dead” by OLP. When Chantal hit those dramatic chords on her keyboard, the crowd went wild and when Raine joined in, it was magic.

Chantal Kreviazuk of Moon vs Sun on stage at Montreal's Corona Theatre

Great couples finish each other’s sentences but how many couples do you know who can finish each other’s songs and make them sound even better?

“We’re stronger when we’re two”. CK

If you missed the show, or simply need more, you can witness Chantal and Raine up close and personal, from the inception of the idea to the finished product.  Their documentary “I’m Going To Break Your Heart” which chronicles their journey as they create their first album together will be available in Canada on Crave TV on May 24th.

Review – Annette Aghazarian
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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