Here we go again. Halifax Pop Explosion started last night and we were instantly reminded what it’s like to see more than eight incredible bands in one night. Every day during HPX 2016, we’re going to do a little HPX rewind post recapping the previous night and looking ahead at upcoming events. Last night, we started the night at Art Bar + Projects then hopped over to the Marquee and Seahorse for some of Canada’s best punk bands all on one bill.
When the dream of your favourite baseball team going to the World Series is over, you can do one of two things. 1: Sit there and be sad. 2: Go out and play an in-your-face punk set to a room full of people who are crowd surfing and singing along to every word. Toronto’s PUP obviously selected the second option. Towards the end of the set, PUP “poured one out for the Blue Jays.” Earlier in the night, they had a friendly back-and-forth on Twitter with Ohio band The Sidekicks.
@SidekicksOhio oh you can tweet smack but don’t follow the boys on twitter eh!
— PUP (@puptheband) October 19, 2016
Okay, enough sport talk. PUP are awesome. They make people happy. They know how to put on an incredible live show and seem to love what they do. At one point the mentioned how thrilled they were to play a festival with three other Canadian punk bands doing their own thing and how it’s nice to play a festival where the bill makes sense. – Jonathan Briggins
Frontperson Audrey Ann Boucher always seems nervous but blows us away, calls us in to draw closer and winds a web around us. When she sings “don’t try to resist me,” later in the set, it’s as if she’s singing to the hesitating pieces of herself. There’s no chance to resist. The music will draw you in. – Evelyn Hornbeck
Run Programm again
Programm – the best thing is they play another show. My favourite new find of night one, I’ll be listening to them all day Thursday. (note, they play the Seahorse on Friday at 10:30pm) -EH
White Lung slay
Vancouver punk band White Lung finally made it to Halifax and are another band we’ll get a double-dose of at HPX. We were most impressed by the way frontperson Mish Way-Barber summons a multitude of voices while the rest of the band brings forward a non-stop wall of guitar, bass and drumming. The crowd gave a half-assed cheer when Way-Barber gave a shout out to Greys. “You can do better than that. Fucking lazy Canadians.” To be fair, the crowd deserved the ribbing. -JB
Greys know where they are
You always get bonus points in a city when you give a shoutout to an old band from the city, but in a totally non-douchey/stereotypical way. Like last night when Greys referenced indie-rock band North of America, a Halifax band active from 1997-2003. -JB
— Halifax Is Burning (@HfxIsBurning) October 20, 2016
Multiple Montreal musicians
Lots of great Montreal bands last night. Montreal via Fredericton band Laps had a lot more grit live than the songs on bandcamp reveal. I guess that makes sense since the band is constantly full of surprises, changing up tempos and tapping into some darker post punk tones.
Phern. Another Montreal band. Also very nice pop rock music.
Freelove Fenner. Breezy pop geniuses. More greatness.
Nap Eyes. Kind of Halifax, kind of Montreal. Road warriors over the past year or so, the band keeps getting better and better. We’ll never not be entertained by the sarcastic banter of Josh Salter contrasting with the earnestness of Nigel Chapman. -JB
What’s up Thursday
Holy Fuck return to Halifax for the first time in a very long time. They play the Last Gang showcase along with Eddy, Harrison and Chastity at Reflections. I wrote a little preview on Harrison for The Coast this week.
Two great local bands, Not You and Crossed Wires, play tonight. Find out more about them in Evey Hornbeck’s HPX local guide.
Friend of Mixtape, Ryan McNutt, covers HPX for Exclaim. Find his reviews here, always worth a read.
We’re posting photos on Instagram all week, if that’s the sort of thing you like.
Photo of She-Devils by Evelyn Hornbeck/Mixtape Magazine