Rock is a dying genre. Not rock 'n' roll. Not hard rock, punk rock, alt rock, folk rock, prog rock, post rock, or any other variation of the genre. Just plain rock. You know -- grandiose-gesturing, lighter-waving, arena-playing, message-disseminating, larger-than-life rock. With the possible exception of mass-appeal bands like U2 and Coldplay, there just isn't that much of the stuff around these days. Enter Toronto's Our Lady Peace. This band has been playing arena-ready anthemic rock for more than a decade. In the Great White North, these Canucks are what it's all aboot -- a complex hybrid of Rush and Alanis Morissette, filling hockey arenas with more mullet-sporting fans than this story has cheap Canadian jokes. But hey, jokes are par for the course when your band named its last album Live from Calgary and Edmonton.
All kidding aside, Our Lady Peace seriously delivers the sonic goods. Vocalist Raine Maida has the sort of strident, rock-god voice that seems custom-designed for stadium-sized pathos. The music behind it, like the best mainstream rock, is familiar and new at the same time. The band appears to have a message, but it's a little too vague to figure out exactly what that message is; it's something along the lines of "bad things need to stop." Hey, everyone can relate to that. The recently released Healthy in Paranoid Times (in addition to having a title that lends itself to numerous tasteless Toronto/SARS jokes) echoes Pearl Jam, Zeppelin, U2, and others while still sounding innovative, but not to the point that would alienate fans who came aboard for the band's biggest U.S. hit single, 1995's "Starseed." Our Lady Peace rails against all those bad things at the Lockhart Stadium Festival Grounds (5301 NW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) along with Hot Topic mainstays the All-American Rejects and local band the Better Gimp on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show. This concert is sponsored by Florida Atlantic University, so FAU students get a $10 discount. Call 954-462-0222, or visit www.fauevents.com. -- Lewis Goldberg
Leto-ing go of his Past
Damn Those Cheekbones!
How many times does Jared Leto have to scream out a song before we believe that he's a serious musician, not just an actor? How many breathy lyrics does he have to whisper before we stop associating him with My So-Called Life ? How many cases of black eyeliner does he have to go through before we get the point?
Leto could have skated all the way to the bank on the strength of his luscious cheekbones, instead of trying to make a paycheck with a microphone. He could be in his personal trailer on a film set these few months instead of on a tour bus. But no -- Leto insists on giving the rock-star thing a serious go. He's joined forces with brother Shannon (a drummer) and two friends to front the band 30 Seconds to Mars, which performs with Audioslave and Seether at the University of Miami Convocation Center (1245 Walsh Ave., Coral Gables) on Tuesday. While he might take edgy roles in indie films, with his music, he's courting the mainstream. As he told Playgrounds magazine, "I believe our sound is arena rock. It's kind of Pink Floyd meets the Sex Pistols!" Tickets to the show cost $36.75. Visit www.ticketmaster.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Adam's Here... for a Few Eves
Former Olive Garden spokesman good for a laugh
By all outward appearances, comedian Adam Ferrara doesn't look very funny. His baby face and clean-cut appearance scream stockbroker, public defender, or mortician. That could be why he's appeared away from the standup stage in episodes of Law and Order and Caroline in the City and opposite Denis Leary in the short-lived but critically acclaimed series The Job. Not to mention a groundbreaking stint hawking plates of pasta for the Olive Garden. But when Ferrara's on stage, ripping into everyone from Islamic terrorists to the French in his thick New York accent, you figure out that looks can be deceiving. A two-time nominee for the American Comedy Award for Best Stand-Up, Ferrara's act has been seen on two Comedy Central Presents half-hour specials, on the late-night circuit, and in packed clubs around the country. Thursday, the comic comes to the Hollywood Improv (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood) and stars in seven shows through Sunday. Tickets cost $15.90. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.adamferrara.com. -- Paul A. Leone
When resident choreographer Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros left the Miami City Ballet, he was missed to the point of cult worship by local dance lovers. As it happened, he had secured rehearsal space and grant money to start his own company... at the same time that his colleagues over at the Maximum Dance Company found their troupe in dire need of funding. The forces united in a much-ballyhooed powerhouse dance merger and created Ballet Gamonet Maximum Dance, which debuts in Broward on Saturday and Sunday at the Bailey Concert Hall (3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie). On the bill: Iliana Lopez (Miami City Ballet's retired prima ballerina) as the new company's ballet mistress, a world-premiere dance number, and Gamonet's acclaimed girl-on-girl duet Purple Bend I. Get tickets to the bigger-than-ever, chutzpah-fueled, shamelessly theatrical and admirably ambitious show by calling 866-MAX-DANCE, or visit www.maximumdancecompany.com. -- Octavio Roca