HPX: Night one

From Oct. 19-22, Halifax Pop Explosion is taking over venues around the city. Here’s what we thought about the performances we attended Oct. 19.

Programm

John: Kicking off a festival is no easy task, but this quartet from Toronto pulled it off well. Their unique brand of synth-pop made me seriously melancholy and contemplative. They were perfect for a small venue like Art Bar + Projects (which I had no idea existed, kind of a hidden gem tucked away on Granville St.). I’ll certainly be checking them out again. (They do play again at HPX, 11:30pm Friday at the Seahorse).

(PKEW PKEW PKEW at The Marquee Ballroom. Photo: Hannah Daley)

(PKEW PKEW PKEW at the Marquee Ballroom. Photo: Hannah Daley)

PKEW PKEW PKEW

John: I had a good laugh at the name. Almost as good as BRAP BRAP BRAP (dibs, if I ever start a band). As I walked into the Marquee Ballroom, I looked around and realized my tucked-in button up shirt did not adhere to the dress code. This feeling was confirmed after one of my friends informed me that I was, in fact, at a punk show. Reminder: buy earplugs for tomorrow. I could feel the floor vibrating as these guys played. With song titles like “A******e Pandemic,” they took me right back to my angsty teenage days. This is a band that lives off live performances. I think they’re one you really have to see live in order to truly appreciate.

Hannah: I need John to start a band with that name now. And they should all wear button up shirts. Anyway, I had never been to the Marquee Ballroom before, because I’m lame I guess, but this was a good show to start with. I went with the goal of taking pictures with my camera but that didn’t work out and I ended up having to use my phone (which is why the photos featured in this aren’t great). I obviously stayed for the entire set and was really glad I did. I realized I had heard these guys before. My friend played some of their songs for me before and so seeing them live was pretty cool. It would’ve been great to get some photos. Hopefully my camera doesn’t hate me for the rest of the week.

(Matt Wright during the 22 Minutes show at Gus' Pub. Photo: Hannah Daley)

(Matt Wright during the 22 Minutes show at Gus’ Pub. Photo: Hannah Daley)

22 Minutes

Hannah: My favourite part of going to watch the 22 Minutes writers do stand-up comedy live was that I was reminded that they’re good at much more than just jokes about Canadian politics, which I’m sure they know already. Last night I got to Gus’ Pub on Agricola and sat down at the front so I wouldn’t be that terrible person who sits alone at a four-person table. Once the show got started things were moving along quickly. Each of the four was on for about 20 minutes before they combined their powers to tell some rejected jokes, most of which were met with laughs while some got sympathetic chuckles. I had a really good time at this one, but I think I laughed the hardest at Matt Wright’s bit how bad Don Cherry is with names and that one time he called Mike Babcock, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mike Gadbabclock (or something of the sort), which you can watch below: