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

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