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Live show review

Friday, September 1, 2017

Review: Leif Vollebekk, The Heavy Blinkers and Tyler Hache at HUFF

Comedy and songs

Posted By on Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 9:32 AM

Leif Vollebekk - GABRIELLE ARCHER
  • Leif Vollebekk
  • Gabrielle Archer


Night four of HUFF was full of firsts for me; first time really enjoying the opener (Tyler Hache has a great mature voice for being so young), first time seeing both The Heavy Blinkers and Leif Vollebekk, and first time trying The Carleton’s delicious new chicken wings. The Heavy Blinkers managed to cram themselves on stage (there were eight of them) and instantly transported the audience into a Broadway musical with their showtune-esque songs. It was wonderful to see Melanie Stone’s voice showcased to its full potential, which was complimented nicely by Stewart Legere’s. Leif Vollebekk closed off the night with his comedy routine interspersed with a couple of songs. Vollebekk put on an incredibly captivating solo performance, playing a good chunk of his Polaris Prize shortlisted album Twin Solitude (although I was pretty sad that he didn’t play "Into the Ether"). He also threw in some covers of songs by Jeff Buckley, Kendrick Lamar, Joni Mitchell, and 30 second tidbits from The Beatles and Aerosmith. His musical prowess on guitar and keys was quite impressive, as was his voice and the expressiveness in his face (rivaled only by Este Haim). I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to see any of these artists, and hope it is sometime in the near future.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: Kim Harris, Stewart Legere, Tyler Messick at HUFF

Birthday angel serenades packed Carleton

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 12:41 PM

The angelic Kim Harris - GABRIELLE ARCHER
  • The angelic Kim Harris
  • Gabrielle Archer


Tyler Messick and Virgil Muir were a great start to the third night of HUFF. Stewart Legere was the next to take the stage and his set was comprised of beautiful songs and excellent anecdotes. He played songs from his latest release, Quiet the Station (recorded at Village Sound), which he describes as “a great album for car crying." My favourite song he played was "Where We Are Going," a piece he wrote for newly engaged friends of his. The headliner of the show, Kim Harris, who was celebrating her birthday, hit the stage with a full 5-piece band. I could write a review on her stage banter alone, but I will resist and just tell you to look up Joey the Raccoon (Official) on Instagram. Harris’ set was a combination of old tunes and new ones off of the much anticipated, yet to be released, new record. Nothing I say can really do her talent justice so I would really like to encourage you to check out her album, Only the Mighty.
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Review: Shyre, Camille Delean and The Olympic Symphonium at HUFF

Camille Delean shone bright

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 12:36 PM

Camille Delean - GABRIELLE ARCHER
  • Camille Delean
  • Gabrielle Archer


Shyre started off the night with a theatrical jazz/operatic pop set which wasn’t quite my thing but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. After Shyre came Camille Delean, who was the real star of the night. Camille had Forward Music Group roster musicians Tim Crabtree (bass) and Michael Feuerstack (guitar) on stage with her, as well as Marshall Bureau (drums). With no instruments in hand, she managed to captivate the audience with her beautiful voice and minimal stage banter. You can tell she is at ease with performing her songs which, have some impressive crescendos thanks to the backing musicians. Tim and Mike offered their voices on some backing harmonies during the night, and the set ended with the most appropriate song, "Tomorrow I Will Leave."

The Olympic Symphonium capped off the night with their magical harmonious tunes that are hard to not be completely enveloped in. They were very visibly having fun while switching instruments amongst themselves, taking turns on lead vocals, and offering comedic stage banter in between songs. Night one of HUFF was a real pleasure, and I look forward to more shows this week!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Three Sheet at the Seahorse

Three Sheet forever

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 2:17 PM

Three Sheet - GABRIELLE ARCHER
  • Three Sheet
  • Gabrielle Archer




I have to be honest, this is a very biased review. I have been a huge fan of Three Sheet ever since I saw them open for Shad at the Grawood in 2012. Unbeknownst to me, they had already been on the Halifax scene for many years and I have been fortunate enough to see them several times since. I love them so much that I postponed a camping trip by a day so that I could be at their final show. I have absolutely no regrets about that decision. 

Three Sheet is made up of five incredibly talented, grateful, and humble artists. The energy at a Three Sheet show so is always so palpably positive. You can’t help but leave their shows with a “high on life” kind of vibe. All of this held true for their show on Friday night. The songs were interspersed with anecdotes about the band and their long history together, as well as several “thank yous” to the crowd for showing up and supporting live music. I look forward to following their individual music careers and seeing what projects the members of Three Sheet come up with next.

 Also, shout out to Know Issue who opened the show with a phenomenal set. It was my first time seeing them and they might help fill the Three Sheet void in my concert calendar. I am a sucker for hip hop music with melodies and harmonies, and both Three Sheet and Know Issue do an excellent job with that. Female vocalists for the win!
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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: Lido Pimienta at SappyFest 2017

"Pimienta, whose electrifying dance music draws from her Afro Colombian and Indigenous heritage, who shaped the brightest, most life-affirming moments of the festival."

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Lido Pimienta - LIANNE XIAO
  • Lido Pimienta
  • Lianne Xiao


SappyFest has always produced a sort of magic. But this year’s festival, which for the twelfth time reignited Sackville, New Brunswick with a weekend of music and palship and not-so-secret secrets, felt especially vital. Locals Kirsten Olivia and Aquakultre were both highlights—Olivia moved a packed Vogue Theatre to both laughter and tears, while Aqukultre was joined by the Big Budi Band, a crew of Halifax scene all-stars for a collaborative and uplifting performance. But it was Lido Pimienta, whose electrifying dance music draws from her Afro Colombian and Indigenous heritage, who shaped the brightest, most life-affirming moments of the festival.

She exhibited a handful of textile artworks, delivered an artist talk, joined Aquakultre and Doldrums for their performances, showed up to close Sunday’s Bahnahnah dance party, and became the talk of the town with a star-making performance on the main stage. Notably, Pimentia was also one of a handful of artists to acknowledge the unceded Mi’kmaq and Maliseet land on which the festival took place, and asked that the main stage audience make space for racialized women, Indigenous women and trans people at the front of the crowd before she began performing. Pimienta has been having one hell of year—thanks in no small part to a spot on Polaris Prize short list for last year’s self-released record La Papessa—and every moment she graced at SappyFest affirmed her spot as one of the most important artistic voices in the country. At the heart of Pimienta’s performances were a deep sense of care for others and a wicked desire to move bodies and minds—grounded with pummeling beats and topped with a beacon of a voice, her music was unstoppable.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: Joel Plaskett on Georges Island, Saturday, July 29

Joel’s stage banter was on point

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 1:25 PM

Joel Plaskett Emergency - GABRIELLE ARCHER
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency
  • Gabrielle Archer


My main motivation for going to the show was to explore Georges Island. However, due to strict fencing and security, exploring was out of the question, and my focus shifted to the afternoon’s concert. The Brood and Port Cities both played good opening sets but it was clear that the crowd was really there to see the Joel Plaskett Emergency. The audience was up on their feet for JPE’s set and Joel’s stage banter was on point, as was the song selection. "Harbour Boys" was particularly appropriate with the lyric "I came here to bring the noise to the island girls and harbour boys." He also playfully changed the name of "Snowed In" to "Fogged In" as you couldn't see anything beyond the island due to the afternoon’s heavy fog. Moments before dedicating "I’m Yours" to his wife and son, Plaskett professed his desire for the province to make changes to the liquor laws so that children, like his son, would be able to attend shows. All in all I’d say it was a successful show, I'm just thankful that I wasn't one of the ones stuck waiting in line for the ferry for a couple of hours afterwards.


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: TWRP at The Seahorse Tavern, Friday, July 21

Intergalactic planetary

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 3:14 PM

TWRP, out of this world - STEPHEN WENTZELL
  • TWRP, out of this world
  • Stephen Wentzell


Spectators squeezed into a sold-out show late Friday night at the Seahorse Tavern, ready to jam to futuristic rock group TWRP. Originally from Halifax, the group is a self-proclaimed band from the ‘80s, the future and outer space.

The magnetic performance gave off a simultaneous nostalgic and cutting edge vibe that captivated the crowd throughout the set, guaranteeing nobody in the Seahorse was standing still.

One guitarist sported a jet pack, while the other played across the stage in a lion mask. The lead’s robotic vocals sold the out-of-this-world experience, a cherry-on-top to his intergalactic costume.

TWRP dedicated one song from its new EP Ladyworld, titled "Body Image"—a song promoting body positivity—to the crowd.

After "Body Image", came their nostalgic reflection of '90s Saturday morning cartoons, and the rock-and-roll invoking feeling of time-travelling to the past and the future all at once—consider me a fan.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at the Halifax Jazz Fest

Pure joy and enthusiasm

Posted By on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 9:47 AM

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals breaking hearts in Halifax
  • Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals breaking hearts in Halifax


Hot damn Halifax–that was some sexy night. Reeny Smith’s impassioned opening performance was a perfect match for the high dose of sex and swagger that followed when Anderson .Paak and his band The Free Nationals launched into the opening pulsations of “Milk & Honey” in front of a rapturous audience eager and willing to be seduced. No one doubted that .Paak would deliver: he brought the funk, the hip-hop, the R&B and disco. But .Paak and the Free Nationals ALSO brought deep soul and a heightened exuberation to a fog-threatened Jazz Fest main stage. It was infectious. His joy and enthusiasm for being in our city was obvious from the smiles and sweat that was reflected back tenfold by a crowd that hung on his every word and gyration right up to the final drum fill that extended “Luh You” into a mutual call and response love exchange of “ I think I love you? NO, Fuck that—I know I do”. Hot damn .Paak–that was some sexy night. Our hearts didn’t stand a chance.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Photos: JUDAS PRIEST

Legendary metal gods rocked the Scotiabank Centre last night

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 1:08 PM

Last night, at the Scotiabank Centre, legendary metal gods Judas Priest were as hard as British steel. Thousands of people shouted "Priest! Priest!" as a giant banner shielded the stage until suddenly it dropped into smoke, and Rob 'METAL GOD' Halford, Glenn Tipton, Richie Faulkner, Ian Hill and Scott Travis hammered into the Redeemer of Souls Tour.

The first half of the show featured a number of Redeemer songs and more recent releases; the second half featured fucking classics like "Screaming for Vengeance," "Electric Eye," "Breaking the Law," and "You Got Another Thing Coming." Faulkner (K.K. Downing's replacement) shred for his life. Halford drove onto the stage on a motorcycle, which remained onstage as he sang operatic melodies with the audience, thanked Halifax for forty years of fandom and blew my fucking mind.


ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST - ADRIA YOUNG
  • JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST
  • Adria Young

Metal God Rob Halford - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Metal God Rob Halford
  • Adria Young

Glenn Tipton - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Glenn Tipton
  • Adria Young

Richie Faulkner & Glenn Tipton - ADRIA YOUNG
  • Richie Faulkner & Glenn Tipton
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

ADRIA YOUNG
  • Adria Young

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: Rich Aucoin & Purity Ring, Halifax Pop Explosion

Coady LeBlanc loved Saturday night's big acts, ended HPX with a donair

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 6:08 PM

Rich Aucoin with Symphony Nova Scotia - MARTIN BLAIS
  • Rich Aucoin with Symphony Nova Scotia
  • Martin Blais

Saturday night was a bittersweet affair. While it is always sad to say goodbye to HPX, the Pop lifestyle is not a sustainable one. You can only crawl home at 3am just to wake up mere hours later so many consecutive times before it begins to take its toll on your sanity (and liver). That being said, as sad as I was to see it go, Pop was going to go out with a bang (GET IT?!?!) because Saturday night’s line-up was straight fire, yo.

To begin the evening I had the absolute pleasure and privilege of seeing Rich Aucoin with Symphony Nova Scotia at the Rebecca Cohn. I know for certain that if you have lived in Halifax for any amount of time, you have heard of Rich. His live shows are the stuff of legend, incorporating audience karaoke, kindergarten parachute parties and dancing until you can’t dance no mo’. Aucoin is certainly one of the best entertainers in Halifax, approaching his live shows with childlike abandon paired with precise rhythmic calculation that can only come from years of experience. You can’t help but leave with a big, dumb smile on your face.

While his normal (if you could ever get away with calling it that) live show demonstrates his skill and creativity as an entertainer in exciting visual ways, Rich’s performance with the Symphony that night showcased how truly gifted and thoughtful he is as a musician. With the help of the orchestra, conductor Martin MacDonald, David Christensen (who advised Aucoin while scoring the set), and a massive grand piano (some Jerry Lee Lewis-style bench kicks were had, true old school rock n’ roll), crowd favourites such as "Four More Years," "City I Love," "Want to Believe" and "All You Cannot Live Without" came to life with renewed beauty. The anthemic group sing along choruses were rounded out perfectly by a choir comprised of Aucoin’s friends, and a host of extra players added depth and dynamics to selected pieces with percussion, stand-up bass, and acoustic guitar. The classic Grinch Who Stole Christmas act was even brought out, which delighted the old-school fans.

It wouldn’t have been a real Rich show if there was no audience inclusion somewhere in the run of the night. Closing the night out with back-to-back songs "Living to Die/Dying to Live" with microphone outstretched over the crowd, Aucoin invoked the audience to sing along in chorus. It made a beautiful night even more beautiful by bringing the type of unity to strangers that can only come from singing songs about hope and life. It was truly uplifting, enough to bring tears to your eyes and, without exaggeration, it was a performance I will never forget.

Purity Ring at The Forum MPC - LENNY MULLINS
  • Purity Ring at The Forum MPC
  • Lenny Mullins

After pulling myself together I quickly drove home so I could make the jog over to The Forum Multipurpose Centre for Purity Ring. I thought it a certain impossibility that I could be more blown away than I just was at The Cohn. While Rich astounded me sonically, Purity Ring amazed me visually. Let me tell you b’ys, this shit was ~*tRiLL*~ enough to get you high by sight alone.

Vocalist Megan James’ ethereal voice is just as beautiful live as recorded, and her presence on stage is equally as commanding and strong. Making use of the entire stage, James engaged every person in the room while showcasing her natural talent on songs from both their first album, Shrines, and March’s release, Another Eternity. Instrumentalist Corin Roddick, the other half of the Ring, had his workstation staged behind what I could only describe as a cage of massive cotton swabs from the future. In the escalation of cool shit that kept happening, Roddick revealed that these giant Q-Tips were infact preprogrammed synthesizer pads that, when struck, LIT UP. REAL COOL. (you can check out what I’m talking about in photos from the night found here).

The Ring didn’t pull out all the guns all at once though. Many strands of cascading bulbs hung on either side of the stage. What I originally thought were stagnant set pieces (to take away from the fact that only two people were on this massive stage) began to light up later in the performance. Like Christmas lights on acid, they were perfectly synched to the music. Sonically the show was equally as impressive, with James' voice clearly cutting through Roddick’s massive bass drops. The tech behind the sound booth on this deserved a cold one.

Speaking of cold ones, this was also the show that taught me Miller Lite is complete garrrrrrrrrbage to drink. I just wanted a switch up from MGD for a second but it was totally not worth it. It’s going to be a long ass while before “it’s Miller time” again for this dude.

Anyway, suddenly it’s 1 am and I’m at Johnny K’s with Greg and Taylor shoving a donair down my throat with every intention of heading to Reflections to catch the last minute Skratch Bastid show. Now friends, there are some pillars of time in your life, those moments that you always come back to because they are so defining and teach you profound truths about who you are as a person. This exact moment in question was the moment when all of the nights of 3 hours of sleep, garbage fast food and, most likely, pretty bad dehydration caught up with me and, like a homesick kid at summer camp, all I wanted was my own bed. I knew it was time to be a big ol’ baby and call it the end of HPX for me.

But it was a wild blast of a ride and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Got a cool Pop Explosion story, favourite act, or dumb thing you did? Comment section is below and I can’t wait to hear ‘em.

Till next year, folks.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Photos: Day Four, Halifax Pop Explosion

Coast photographer Lenny Mullin's captures Friday's big ticket shows

Posted By and on Sun, Oct 25, 2015 at 6:51 PM

Cloud Nothings at Olympic Hall
  • Cloud Nothings at Olympic Hall

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

Yeah sure, "natural," but have you even tried drugs? - LENNY MULLINS
  • Yeah sure, "natural," but have you even tried drugs?
  • Lenny Mullins

Vancouver's Dear Rouge at the Halifax Forum - LENNY MULLINS
  • Vancouver's Dear Rouge at the Halifax Forum
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

July Talk's Leah Fay at the Halifax Forum - LENNY MULLINS
  • July Talk's Leah Fay at the Halifax Forum
  • Lenny Mullins

Peter Dreimanis of July Talk - LENNY MULLINS
  • Peter Dreimanis of July Talk
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

Montreal's Seoul - LENNY MULLIN'S
  • Montreal's Seoul
  • Lenny Mullin's

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

STARS - LENNY MULLINS
  • STARS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

The night the dream died #BlueJays - LENNY MULLINS
  • The night the dream died #BlueJays
  • Lenny Mullins

Set yourself on fire - LENNY MULLINS
  • Set yourself on fire
  • Lenny Mullins


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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan at HPX

Coady LeBlanc says the big-ticket act destroyed the Dirty-O in the best way possible

Posted By on Sat, Oct 24, 2015 at 12:43 PM

The Dillinger Escape Plan at Olympic Hall - LENNY MULLINS
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan at Olympic Hall
  • Lenny Mullins


Going to a heavy show in Halifax that isn’t all ages is still a weird concept to me. I still remember the newness and novelty of finally being legal and getting to see a band at The Pavilion (RIP) one night and then watching the exact same set the next night at Michael’s (also RIP) with a beer in hand. While my hardcore kid days are more or less behind me (the punk rock DIY mindset has moved from promoting shitty bands and sewing back patches on denim vests to actually deciding to do laundry and make car insurance payments) sometimes the boy wonder comes out for a night and, man, if he was ever going to come out, Thursday night was the time.

Big-ticket act The Dillinger Escape Plan destroyed the Dirty-O in the best way possible with some help from Cancer Bats along with local darlings A Sight For Sewn Eyes and Barlow. It was a chaotic, deafening circus of circle pits, tattoos and MGD. Here’s the play by play for those who missed it:

First up was Barlow. The Barlow crew has been around the block, with all of the members playing in no less than 600 bands over the course of their life on earth. Four young dudes they sure know what they’re doing, and last night’s set proved it again. Watching a mosh pit begin to form is like watching the beginnings of an awkward high school dance but Barlow had the crowd moving in no time. Never change boys, and don’t be strangers.

Next were the hometown heroes of heavy, A Sight For Sewn Eyes. It had been a while since I had seen ASFSE play, and I have to confess I haven’t heard any of their newest album (it’s been out since July, go check it out kiddos), but the b’ys have not skipped leg day as they were out the gate running. You wouldn’t have guessed that this was only the second show they’ve played in the last two years. For a band in a style of music that produces SO MUCH mediocrity and monotony ASFSE continues to age like a fine wine, becoming more complex and distinctive with each passing year. Vocalist Joshua Hanusiak gave a super genuine and emotional mid-set speech, thanking the Hali scene for all the support over the years. True hardcore kids never die, they just get older, and they’re still sticking by ASFSE.

Cancer Bats hit the stage next. I’ve never really followed the Bats, but I jammed along to the songs I knew. Personal highlight of the set was hearing Hail Destroyer and Pneumonia Hawk live because I remembered those tracks from high school. I also totally forgot that they had that rad-ass cover of The Beastie’s "Sabotage," so that was pretty cool. This was around the point where my phone was hitting the 5% mark and considering how badly I wanted to get shots of Dillinger for The Coast’s Insta (my press pass says photographer, I guess every dummy with a cell phone is a photographer now) I neglected most of the set for a suitable place to charge my phone and grab a beer. Sorry Bats, maybe next time.

Finally, fulfilling what I had been waiting for years to see, The Dillinger Escape Plan took the stage. From beginning to end it was bat-shit crazy. If you have not heard of or seen these guys before, do yourself a favour and head over to YouTube because their shows are legendary for complete disregard for personal safety (you can also check out the pictures from last night here). While to many their music may sound like children on bath salts demolishing a music store, what Dillinger does is pure art. Combining elements of metal, jazz, progressive rock and good ol’ punk, Dillinger continues to creates some of the most interesting music in their scene 18 some odd years since conception. Fortunately, they encapsulated their career pretty well that night. DEP played several tracks from their most recent release One Of Us Is The Killer, but not leaving out some jams from the older albums, which I feel should be a requirement for all bands that play Halifax for the first time. I mean this because there’s always that one person in the crowd who has been waiting YEARS for you to finally tour in our fine city and you have some catching up to do in their books. It’s common courtesy.

All in all it was everything that the little hardcore kid inside me had wanted. Hell, it was everything grown up me had hoped and dreamed for too. I mean, there’s still Cloud Nothings, Cryptorips, Rich Aucoin w/ The Symphony, Scratch Bastid and so many others to see still, but I might have to make the early call and give Dillinger the completely subjective and made up award of Best HPX Performance of the Year. I’ll get back to you if that changes.

Coady LeBlanc is The Coast's Front Desk Enforcer


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: Day Two, Halifax Pop Explosion

Danced so much last night I changed my shirt three times, yeah that makes sense

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 5:37 PM

Okay Day Two. Halifax Pop Explosion. Almost went full Lamar Odom last night. Just kidding. Once again, I didn't do a full-city every-show tour for the sake of it. No, I spent the majority of my night at the Olympic Hall catching one of the best lineups to hit Halifax ever. Oh yes, last night was incredibly amazing. Ryan Hemsworth, thank you, bless you, that was so tight. 

No wait, let's start from the top. Got home from The Coast and made nachos with pineapple on them; it's really the only thing I can make. After my cheese-up, I walked a block to O-Hall for Vogue Dots. It was just 8pm so the crowd wasn't huge but that didn't stop anyone from enjoying Babette Hayward's beautiful voice over Tynan Dunfield's electronic beats and drumming by Nathan Doucet. They covered "Thunder" by Cousins and my favourite Vogue Dots song, "Way with Silence." Doucet on drums filled out the sound big time. Looove it. Slowly, people began filling up the joint. I went home several times throughout the night to drink a beer and change my shirt occasionally. Gotta stay fresh. During Suicideyear, we goofed around on the upper-level and starting swinging from the rafters until Security Guy told us to stop. We danced really hard to the Baton Rouge DJ's terror-jungle melodies. My only beef is that it felt early for that kind of club-turn-up, but it was still very sick and flowed well. At one point, I leaned over the railing and my buddy Jordan jumped from the lower level to high-five a storey apart. I hope someone saw that.

I think I ripped my pants during Skylar Spence. Formerly Saint Pepsi from Long Island, Spence really got things heated up, chopping Drake jams and Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" (and here's a 360 throwback: Pop Explosion 2013, Seamus Dalton of Monomyth played that same Mariah song from his phone into the mic just before a Monomyth song, and then Monomyth played last night after Spence. Not sure what that means but it's a cool coincidence, I guess). Anyway, I spent most of the summer listening to Spence at parties and in cars and it was so sweet to hear him perform some of his own songs live. Homebruh can sing. I also had a chat with Hemsworth about his Frank & Oak mix. If you're wondering (like I was), it was pulled off Soundcloud in the great Soundcloud copyright purge. I had 100 other conversations last night so if we talked, it was nice meeting you or catching up with you. Say hey anytime. 

Then Hemsworth came on and by this point, I was very "turnt" and I can only remember Miller Genuine Draft, screwed-up Fetty Wap ("Trap Queen") and my pants ripping more (#RIP). People were going bananas in the crowd. It wasn't even midnight yet and the dance floor looked like a hot bag of gummy worms. The thing about DJs is they need to have good taste, they need to know what people want to hear and they need to play off the crowd's energy. Hemsworth is a true talent at all three of those thangs. Thank you, dog, for your Secret Songs. I left a few minutes early to get to Gus' Pub, which (hooray) didn't reek like farts! On the way, I got into an incident at Needs (don't ask) and then muscled my way past the lineup around the block for Monomyth. 

Monomyth is one of my favourite bands in the world. But holy, Gus' was so packed. Elbows were flying like the clearance rack at a wedding dress sale and it was genuinely frustrating. But I got myself up front for the last few songs, which included "Cigarette," the one about falling in love with you again and Seamu's new one from their forthcoming album. There was some goofing around, since former bandmates Graeme Stewart and Matthew Peters were pulled onstage. Josh Salter mistakenly said AC/DC was from Scotland and I yelled "AUSTRALIA" and he said, "You think I don't know that, Adria?!" I'm really tired right now so I'm sorry this is gonzo. Well, I'm not sorry, actually, but what more can I say? You should have been there. Things got hazy for Walrus, which actually seems appropriate for the heaviness of their psych-rock. It was thunderous, really. I went into the glass casino to sit down for a minute, which turned into 15 minutes, and then we were wandering the streets looking for a party and I got cranky and went home. Maybe I'll catch a nap before tonight's shows so that I can provide some comprehensive coverage tomorrow but for now I just wanna nachos and chill. Check out Lenny's beautiful photos. See you tonight.  



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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Day One, Halifax Pop Explosion

Didn't catch a whole lot but everything I saw was pretty fucking special

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 5:49 PM

Hey. Here we are. Pop Explosion. Day one. I'm already exhausted. I didn't take many pics because my camera is a piece of crap Android and it gives me 'droid rage because every photo sucks. So please check out these beautiful photos by Lenny Mullins for a visual reference as I ramble on about what I remember from last night, which isn't much because I like to party. YOLO.

Anyway, I worked here at The Coast factory until 8pm so I missed the comedy stylings of Nick Flanagan at Eat Pray LOL. If you don't know "The Flans," he's pretty good at Twitter so I was pretty much there anyway. I made my way down to The Carleton to catch Psychic Fair and to be honest (which unfortunately is my default setting, AMA), it was one of the best shows I've seen in awhile. Vocalist Josh Salter (Monomyth, Nap Eyes) said that Psychic Fair is a band for fans of '80s college rock since "they didn't have college in the '70s." I've known Josh for hmmm about a decade and I think his compilation of lyrics for Psychic Fair are the best of all his bands. Sorry Quivers (lol). Between the puns and the openness and the imagery and the sincerity, I don't know, I think it's easy to forget the impact and importance of excellent lyricism. It just felt next-level. Then throw in Charles Austin and Andrew Glencross and sounds like Pavement and Can and you got yourself a great fucking band. A history of rock, keepin' it strange. They played new song "Kingdom of God." After that, me and some friends went to Stillwell and we talked about some of Josh's lyrics. Is "Bees on Ice" about beers on a cruise ship? Because all this time I had imagined bees on ice as a bunch of bees performing as Ice Capades, like Stars on Ice, but bees. Nigel Chapman thought about bees on ice blocks, like slow-frozen bees. I mean, there you go, it's great fucking music when you're exhausting three words from a song to come to some kind of meaning, without any kind of conclusion. So there you go. This band rocks. No damn question. 


After some beers, and because The Carleton was definitely sold-out, we made our way to Rejections Cabaret for the last half of The Brood. And woah. I'd never seen these rock and rollers before but man, pretty jammin' bunch. Definitely could see them playing The Shore Club (which rules, that's not a joke), and definitely saw potential for growth and developing a more distinct sound. Brooding, for sure. People were dancing, always a good sign. Cool to see Seamus Erskine at the front of the stage (he sometimes drums for Aqua Alta) so that was rad. 


Then Jean-Sebastien Audet came onstage wearing a sweater and pants in pale shades. Last night, his band Un Blonde was backed by Seamus Dalton and Brad Loughead and it was a serious session of some life-affirming jazz-soul. It's got no genre, actually. I just stood there transfixed by the variety of sounds, some digital on the sampler, some natural, jazz-drum flairs by Seamu, the wondrous scale of Jean's voice, Brad's playing. Mostly I was saying 'wow' or 'oh man' intermittently. I was truly so hypnotized that I spilled a beer down the back of Nathan Doucet by accident. I bought him one to make up for it, which doesn't make sense since it was my own beer I spilled, but it is what it is. Rare to see that kind of talent and originality. You missed out.

Un Blonde - I TOOK THIS PHOTO, WOW NICE AMAZING WOW
  • Un Blonde
  • I took this photo, wow nice amazing wow

After that, five of us piled into Scott Grundy's car and blasted 101.3 The Bounce playing a new hot song about a hula-hoop. A hula-hoop? I can't think of anything more mundane and irrelevant. What's next, songs about window-fans? Anyway, we were blasting that crap as we drove down Agricola Street and pulled up to Gus' Pub blaring Top 40's while Romanian metal band Negura Bunget played. Best entrance I've ever made in. my. life. The band was wild. Not super heavy thrash, not speed, but spooky and dark-sided and mystical for sure. There were moments of thrash but not hard enough to mosh, and it was all shrouded in red lights, atmospheric backing-tracks and Romanian language before the shreds kicked in. Gus's smelled like farts last night. Real thick. But maybe that added to the heavy vibe. It was heavy in there. But aside from the farts, I was into this band. It was another rare set but for entirely different reasons. Then I tried to get Gus' to sell me a beer "to-go" (lol) but that was denied so I went to a party. That was day one. 

Stay tuned, fart faces. 

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Photos: Rebecca West at Pro Skates

You'd never know that 20 years have passed for 90s Halifax band

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 2:45 PM

CHRIS SWEET
  • Chris Sweet


Last night at Pro Skateboards & Surfboards, 90s-era Halifax band Rebecca West reunited for a sick set in anticipation of the band's performance at Pop Montreal later this month.

Fronted by Allison Outhit, with Lukas Pearse on bass and Dale Hussey on drums, Rebecca West played from both Cinnamon Toast Records albums, including the amazing jam "State of Grace," as well as some "new old songs," Outhit joked. Over 20 years have passed since these songs were written but they've aged incredibly well. With Sloan-esque pop melodies, punk rock interludes and Outhit's haunting spoken vocals and clever wordplay, Rebecca West could pass for a contemporary rock band. In essence, they are one. The band all hugged at the end and Outhit mentioned they'll be reissuing tracks soon. Keep your ears peeled for more upcoming shows. 

Photos by Chris Sweet. 

CHRIS SWEET
  • Chris Sweet

CHRIS SWEET
  • Chris Sweet

CHRIS SWEET
  • Chris Sweet

Allison Outhit (Rebecca West) - CHRIS SWEET
  • Allison Outhit (Rebecca West)
  • Chris Sweet

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Sure Thing Events

  • Nana Mouskouri @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

    • Tue., May 22
    • Buy Tickets
  • Spencer Burton w/Sisterhood of Sound: Annie Sumi & The Lifers @ The Carleton

    • Tue., May 22, 8-11 p.m.
  • Sacred Wolf Singers w/Gina Burgess @ Halifax Central Library

    • Thu., May 24, 6 p.m. free

In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 51
May 17, 2018

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