Pop Explosion Night One | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Pop Explosion Night One

where salvation comes in a black flag t-shirt

terrible blurry photo of peter hubley

Last night was the best "first" night of Halifax Pop Explosion in my personal memory. Others who have been around here longer might disagree. But the one-two punch of a mind-blowing Paragon performance by Kylesa plus a glass-smashing, moshy, screamy, drunky Mark Sultan set at Gus' Pub will have me smiling and giggling through my hangover for the rest of the week. Quite honestly I don't know how it can be topped. You got your work cut out for you, rest of week!

Like a lot of people (I bet) I bombed over to the Paragon after getting off work on my bike and was almost hit by a van at Creighton and Buddy Daye (this happens fairly often at this particular street corner.) Nards! As I staggered, slightly rattled, inside the Paragon for the Broken Ohms/Kylesa/High on Fire show I was confronted by a sea of people dressed in black. Pretty much every "visible" metalhead in Halifax was at the show but there were also a lot of people I had never seen at a metal show before, which is great. This was perhaps best evidenced by the dude in front of me, who was wearing a knee length graffiti jersey and gave off a vaguely neo-Eminem vibe, and yet kept boozily lurching onto the shelf behind him to get video of Broken Ohms. He was really into it. Books, covers, judging, DON'T DO IT.

Broken Ohms were fun and a good choice of opener I think (after the cancellation of Torche due to illness.) This is a band that understands the low-end theory, know what I mean? Just bowel-rattling heaviness. You either love it or you don't. They got more comfortable as they played, had great stage presence, seemed genuinely happy to be there, managed to keep the crowd's attention, etc etc. Peter Hubley sounded great as always but I thought he could have been louder. Blah blah blah. Great job!

terrible blurry photo of peter hubley's rippling locks
  • terrible blurry photo of peter hubley's rippling locks

Then came the band of the show, the evening, the week and probably my whole entire life. I know. BOLD. It's just so nice when a band's performance meets your expectations and Kylesa exceeded mine by about ten billion.

Yes please, I would love a rad, slightly weird girl guitarist in a Black Flag t-shirt shredding and jumping around in boots and roaring with a death metal rattle voice and singing certain songs in an ominous astral voice, and being so focused and KICKING ALL YOUR ASSES, FOREVER; yes, I am also okay with a nymph-like male bassist who runs his bass thorugh his roland and does all this weird synth shit that I am too stupid to understand; yes I love you rhythm guitarist who looks like Judah Friedlander and sings like Damian Abraham and bookends the set by battering a tom behind him; and yes, dual drummers, I actually lost it when you did an extended tribal opening for "Scapegoat." Yes, everyone is talking about the girl - and I have to admit I was initially lured by the "doom metal band with female lead guitarist" descriptor - but this is a band that is truly the sum of its parts and it was an absolutely thrilling experience to look around and realize everyone was as into them as I was. The shouts of affirmation as they settled into a mean riff, the photographers who put the cameras aside and gaped, my little girl buddy who I thought was bored but actually really enjoyed herself. These, friends, are the earmarks of good times.

End gushery. Here's another shitty photo!

  • GO!

And another!

  • YEAH!

Mark Sultan time! Gus' was jam-packed. I heard the night was satisfying (I was told The Nymphets sat in for the Friendly Dimension and won over a ton of new fans despite some sound issues. They are great! This is great!) Mark yelled a bunch of stuff at one John Adams, wishing him happy birthday (which it was not) and then launched into a nonstop set that touched on insane angry garage jams and sweet romantic jams that made hot girls in the front go crumbly, and jams from the King Khan days and basically every jam you could ever possibly want. Meanwhile there was a drunk yell-singing mosh pit (some guy kept knocking into the monitor, which knocked into Mark Sultan's kick drum, which made him snap at the guy some) and there was beer everywhere, and somehow I gave Jake a ten dollar tip, my friend fell down, Mark spat a giant loogie that went over Drew's head, my other friend danced really funny and then I needed a smoke, and then the set ended with a smash. All in all, I would say this was a ROARING success.

this is the worst photo of all. You cant even tell who this is.
  • this is the worst photo of all. You can't even tell who this is.

Upcoming for Night Two: GWAR, CKDU lobby shows, secret guests, various sorts of goo, learning how to scam drinks because I spent all my money last night, collapse

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