HPX 2011: Day 2
Halifax Pop Explosion
Sleep-Deprived Musings of a Stage Manager
Day 2: Thee Oh Sees. Oh my god. Every festival has a couple of shows that everyone talks about for months to come and this will be one of them. I was forewarned that it would be an awesome and crazy show, but I was still blown away. I think Reflections Cabaret, normally a gay dance club, was a little surprised to have moshing and crowdsurfers in their midst. At the very least, there were probably more broken beer bottles on the ground than they’re used to. Thee Oh Sees (aka The OCs and The Oh Sees) is a tightly wound, surf-rockabilly jam band with two drummers playing simultaneously. They’re loud, they’re fun and they’re incredibly inter-meshed; playing together like one solid unit. If you ever get the chance to see them, do it.
The night ended so well, it almost made me forget how badly it almost started. Fifteen minutes before the show was to begin, there was no one in the bar and no sign of our first band, Sheer Agony. Mild panic set in until we found out that security wasn’t admitting them due the lead singer’s expired and broken I.D. Luckily, they were let in, along with a respectable crowd and the show went on. Sheer agony it was not, they sounded more like a faux-English, Fratellis-esque pop rock band. Bloodhouse was a little less well received, mixing lo-fi echoey vocals with punk rhythms. They were good, just impossible to understand. Clearly fans of the “good old days” of recording, they had their newest album for sale on cassette tape.
The second last band, Cousins, can easily be compared to the White Stripes; a two-piece with female drummer. Though, this is only one of their varying lineups. These guys created an impressively large and cohesive sound with just guitar and a few drums. Clearly a popular local band, they packed the club and got the crowd moving and warmed up for the headliners.
I don’t know if the rest of this week’s shows will be able to top tonight’s events. Even if the torrential rains let up for a bit. I guess we’ll see.