Saturday, October 31, 2009

Concet Review: Halifax Pop Explosion Saturday

October 24th, 2009. St. Matthew's Church, Halifax, NS/The Paragon Theatre, Halifax, NS
Fellow Concert goer: Joelle Grant/Chantelle Rideout, Luke Adamski
Headliner: Jenn Grant/Japandroids
Supporting: Timber Timbre/You Say Party! We Say Die!

Timber Timbre @ St. Matthew's Church
On a miserably wet and windy day, it was a relief to get under the roof of the old church and enjoy some chillingly beautiful music. Taylor Kirk came out of the darkness, sitting down with his guitar and a kick drum along with his two supporting musicians playing violin, pedal steel, and other instruments. The show started off with the church completely dark except for a dim red glow while the band played haunting and ambient sounds with the squeal of violins and pedal steel before Taylor Kirk started to sing No Bold Villain. The first handful of songs all bled into each other, but at the first sign of a pause the audience erupted with loud applause. He played seven songs off his latest album, which all sounded perfect in this setting. While the Coast said it was "boring" and "His stuff just wasn’t big enough to control such a powerful and airy space", I completely disagree. The way he performed made it seem like these dark, deep, and personal songs are a very delegate thing to bring into public, and if you stopped paying attention they would disappear. He put on a fantastic show which ended up being one of my favourite parts of HPX.

Jenn Grant @ St. Matthew's Church
Earlier this year, Jenn Grant was selected as best local solo female by the Coast. After seeing her show it is obvious why. She is not only a great performer, but also a great entertainer. To start off the show, her and her band went around the venue throwing and handing out Halloween candy to the audience. Before and after songs she would tell hilarious stories about the origins of the songs, or things that were going on in her life such as a mouse which was living at her apartment. Each story drew smiles and laughs. At one point she pulled out too flashing lights and told the audience we were all being arrested for being too cute. The songs sounded excellent, featuring a variety of instruments. For her last song, she went out into the audience, sat down on top of a pew, and played a song on her acoustic guitar while her band surrounded providing beautiful backing vocals. The most memorable part of the show however was when she came out and closed the show with a fully costumed ghostbusters sketch (see video below).

You Say Party! We Say Die! @ The Paragon Theatre
This show was being broadcast live by CBC Radio 3 online. YSP! WSD! came out with four brightly glowing white X's on the stage in support of their latest album xxxx. The show featured mostly songs from this record. The Vancouver based band's energetic songs combined with an excellent front woman in Becky Ninkovic kept the crowd dancing the whole time. Becky had a great stage presence as she delivered the vocals, making sure the audience felt part of the show. At one point she came down and sang amongst the crowd, and at another point she let the crowd support her as she crowd surfed.

Japandroids @ The Paragon Theatre
The headliners of the show ended up only playing a set that was less than half an hour long because they were going to turn the lights on and pull the plug on the show since it was the wee hours of the morning when they came on. That combined with the fact both Brian King and David Prowse were sick meant the show did not reach its full potential. Regardless the garage rockers were able to get the crowd moving with an energetic mosh pit the whole show. The songs were loud and powerful considering it was all coming from two guys playing the guitar and drums. They were very apologetic about being sick and having to end the show early, but promised to come back to Halifax.

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