HALIFAX, N.S. – OCTOBER 23, 2013
Day Two had arrived and it was time for some of HPX’s banner acts to take the stage. To ensure I could survive the evening, I went by Halifax gourmet standard-bearer, The Brooklyn WareHouse (who are preparing an Action Bronson-themed prix fixe especially for HPX), for a relaxed but immaculately prepared dinner. Now properly fuelled, the night’s festivities could begin. Wavves was headlining the spacious and antique Olympic Community Hall. Locals OUTTACONTROLLER and Cold Warps helped the beer flow with party rock riffs while the venue quickly approached capacity.
Obits delivered for a second night with the chops that have stood the test of time. It was a brief all-business set that gave the energy in the room a final push towards the manic frenzy that began the moment Wavves’ Nathan Williams and co. set foot onstage. Tearing through new material (including their GTA V cut, “Nine is God”) and old favourites, the crowd was eating up everything they were serving and giving it back in kind.
Fleeing the aural assault of Wavves for the wistful relaxation of Jay Arner, I dashed to certified dive and hub for local musicians, Gus’ Pub. Arner presumably was exhausted by the time he reached the opposite coast from his home of Vancouver, but had cool to spare while casually letting his AM-gold melodies soothe the room.
From Gus’, I made it to Reflections Cabaret just in time for BADBADNOTGOOD’s Halifax debut. The band’s continually rising popularity was exactly inverse to the capacity of the part-time gay bar, part-time everything else bar and it showed. The fervour for BBNG’s jammed out hip hop translated through jazz was evident even in the sizeable line out front. The Toronto boys gave love to local delicacy donairs and treated the crowd to their most beloved reinterpretations, as well as unreleased new tracks. The chaos of the packed room threatened to erase the memory of Wavves’ performance entirely as sweat became a more prevalent element in the air than oxygen.
Already reliving the high of BBNG’s Halifax takeover, I couldn’t resist trying a stuffing and bacon poutine (yes, really) from nearby Willy’s before hopping in a cab and using my final moments of wakefulness to freak out about what’s still in store for the rest of the fest.
By Colin Gallant
Photos: Gabrielle and Colin Gallant