Column: Matthew Good’s newest fan

You’ve got to hand it to Matthew Good.

Not many people suffering from pneumonia would get up in front of an arena full of people and not only play without complaint, but actually give a flawless performance.

The 46-year-old Burnaby-born musician was diagnosed with pneumonia and hospitalized last week after collapsing on a stage in Edmonton.

After reluctantly cancelling his concert in Prince George, where he was scheduled to kick off a show with fellow Canadian 1990s airwave dominators, Our Lady Peace, Good vowed, via Twitter and Instagram, to make it to the last two dates in their month-long tour, Kelowna and Abbotsford respectively, and he did.

I bought my fiance tickets to the show as a birthday present, and when we heard the news, we honestly didn’t think he would make it to Kelowna Friday night.

I mean, pneumonia..that’s serious. Who gets out of their sick bed to play a show when they’re suffering from PNEUMMONIA?!

I’ll tell you who — Matthew Good, that’s who.

I couldn’t believe it.

Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t look like he was having a great time, but he got out there and he played, well, for about 50 minutes, and I dare say that’s more than most of us could do.

Even though he looked like he was in total agony and his bandmates literally had to guide him offstage at the end of his set, he got through that whole performance, and I think it’s fair to say the audience was blown away.

They clapped, they cheered, they screamed — they gave him a standing ovation. And he deserved it.

While I enjoyed screaming out the lyrics to Load Me Up or OLP’s Clumsy with my fiance and the hundreds of hardcore fans around us, it was something Raine Maida said in between songs during his set about his “friend” and tour mate, Matt, that stuck with me.

Friday, March 30, Raine told us was also National Bi-Polar Day. For those who do not know, in 2006 Good was diagnosed with Bipolar II, a disorder characterized by ups and downs in one’s mood.

And while he was already known as an outspoken human rights advocate, after his diagnosis, he went on to become a mental health advocate and keynote speaker, earning accolades for his refreshing candour on the subject.

In fact, many of the songs on Good’s 2007 album, Hospital Music, were written during his recovery and reference both his hospitalization and his bitter divorce.

I suppose, that being said, that it shouldn’t be a big surprise that someone that brave and tough could power through something like pneumonia to make a concert date after all.

Good isn’t the only celebrity, for lack of a better word, working to end social stigma around mental health, but he’s a great example.

He reminds us, I think, that every new day is a chance to turn it around and find yourself a little closer than you’d previously been.

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff


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