BROKEN CITY, OCTOBER 10, 2013
For those of you who know who B.A Johnston is, God bless you. It was my first time experiencing this incomparable entity and I’m almost speechless. Let me paint you a picture.
As X-Ray Cat began, I realized I went to high school with two of these shit disturbers. A lot’s changed since the days of hot-boxing cars in the Central Memorial parking lot, though: mostly they learned to play instruments. If you like punk rock, you’ll definitely dig these guys. They are true and honest to the genre.
Next up was Fist City. I was caught outside for the first two songs but I liked what I heard in the background. After a visual assessment of what I’d been hearing, I was pleasantly surprised. The songs were fast and energetic with a hint of Ramones pop sensibility. My feet were tapping the entire time.
B.A- fucking-Johnston. I was not prepared for this showman’s antics. I must preface this by saying that I’m a songwriter. I spend countless hours crafting music that I think sounds good. I say this because I hated Johnston after the first song, thinking, “I have to sit through 20 shitty joke songs with a lot of gimmicks?” Well, fuck you, past self; that was 40 minutes of pure heaven. This man has combined a comedic stage show that borders on the intricacy of Rent with clever songs to create something entirely new. Canes, a Discman, multiple outfits, synths and a beat-up acoustic are but a fraction of the props for his whirlwind show. Johnston’s unparalleled audience interaction culminated in 50 people crammed into the women’s washroom singing the encore. Thank you, B.A, for an experience I will never forget. You made a believer out of me and, I hope someday, the world.
By Sean Hamilton
Photos by Andrew Stirling