HALIFAX, N.S. – OCTOBER 22, 2013
Halifax eased into the 21st edition of its multi-faceted Pop Explosion Festival with local businesses brimming with discussion over what to see, like Agricola Street’s Lost & Found, where local art was displayed next to their prime vintage finds and distro, which offered vinyl and cassette releases by many artists playing the fest.
A busy pass pickup at the central Atlantica Hotel featured a cycling virtual reality game prototype tested by many a festival-goer, taking a few minutes before skipping off to the many active venues of the evening.
I made my way through the aromatic and tempting Pizza Corner down to the HPX opening reception at night-life staple The Seahorse Tavern. Attendees were feeling social (and thirsty) while stalwart DJ James Reid played high-energy hip hop.
Practically next door, the banner event of the evening was Los Angeles comic and actor Brian Posehn. simultaneously playing to the nerds and converting the hipsters, Posehn won over the crowd with surprisingly pleasing jokes about farts and male genitalia. He even invited the ladies of the show to come by his hotel room and research serial killers afterwards.
I made my way over to the gritty but charismatic Gus’ Pub in the heart of Halifax’s North End to see locals Quivers and Brooklyn’s Obits at the Sled Island showcase. Quivers fused hooks with mathematically precise guitar trickery, as Halifax bands have earned a rep for doing best. Obits brought a wiry guitar assault rife with inspired and varietal melodies. Their experience at ripping apart a stage showed when the crowd got a lot wilder than a Tuesday night would typically encourage. HPX delivered with an eclectic night of programming and set a high bar for the remaining four days of the fest.
Review and photo by Colin Gallant