Jessica: Once again, I apologize for the iPhone photos, especially since they’re so far away. The crowds were really into the shows and gave me dirty looks every time I tried to get a close-up.
Tonight was a relatively relaxed night for me. Didn’t have a whole lot of expectations going in but managed to see some amazing talent!
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Lee Field’s concert attire, a glittering red sequined jacket, makes him impossible not to watch. As he grooves on stage, he shimmers like a beacon of funk and soul. In his artist bio for the HPX website, they share he possesses “a voice that is equally raucous and tender.” That’s exactly what he delivered tonight, displaying a smooth tone broken up with raspy yells, driving the audience to throw their hands up and dance. His stage presence and big band sound are incredible, and it’s impossible not to want to dance the night away jamming to his tunes. If you get the chance to see him live: go. Do not hesitate.
Aquakultre & Big Budi Band
I’m ashamed now to say I had never heard Aquakultre live before now. The local talent has performed all around Halifax, but last night’s performance made me immediately want to download all of his music. I was sold as soon as he started rapping about the bus route, 1 Spring Garden. He weaves his fast, percussive rhymes effortlessly together with his stellar vocals. The Big Budi Band was also an excellent addition, adding crunchy jazz dissonances to Aquakultre’s free-flowing lyrics. In both tonight and Thursday’s performances, I could not get over the dude playing bass clarinet. Seeing a classical instrument played so jazzy and with so many different groups is amazing. Props to him.
I wish I could have stayed for more of this set. The crowd was so engaged with the band, and for good reason too. Jasmyn Burke’s lead vocals provide the soulful melodies on top of her band’s energetic indie rock. The whole band seemed to be having so much fun being there and playing off each other’s energy, something I appreciate seeing in a performance. I will definitely jump at the next chance to see these folks live, and would recommend giving them a listen. The reason I left a bit early was to head down to…
Reflections is another venue I have never managed to visit before, and Ms Banks helped make an even better first impression of the space. She was so cheerful and dedicated to the atmosphere she was creating for her audience. Her rapping was excellent, and she would frequently take breaks from vocals to jam along to her DJ’s beats and interact with her crowd. This was another performance where it was impossible not to move when her music was played. Her beats had even the meekest in the audience dancing along, and her established fans even more so. She provided the most energetic end-of-the-night performance to date. If you’re ever in London (her home base) then you should definitely check her out.