Live Review: Michaels Bar & Grill, Oct. 4th, 2013

Another night of live music in the books and another review filled with both good and not so great (There was really nothing bad about the show….just a few not so great moments).

I arrived late and missed out on seeing Dave Fultz.  I’ve only heard good things about his past performances and from what people were saying last night was another great gig.  Next time Dave…..I promise.

The second act of the night who call Antigonish home, was Ragged Mane.  I’ve never heard nor heard of this five piece but did come away with a few thoughts.

The Good

  • Musically they were pretty tight.  They had a couple of songs where endings were a little unfinished but not enough to take away from the fact that their original songs were pretty good.
  • The bass player was really good.  He made great use of the instrument and at times really stood out.
  • Vocally the lead singer also sounded great.  He kind of had Temper Trap meets Hey Rosetta thing going on.
  • Their original songs were laid out well, and had a nice big sound to them.  It might be best described as a big arena type sound….something along the lines Kings of Leon or The Killers.

The Not So Great (and I only say this because I did dig the band and would love to see them improve on some things)

  •  There was not a single harmony sung.  In fact there wasn’t even another mic in front of anyone else in the band.  If your going to have five members in your troupe, you need to make sure that at the very least two of you can sing.
  • When I close my eyes and listened it was good but when I watched the stage I was bored.  I get that you “listen” to music but at live shows people want to feel as if they are part of something.  They want to know that the band is as invested in the show as you are.
  • Don’t be timid and shy.  It’s ok if you’ve got a member of the band who has a little of this, but not the entire band.  Look up, make eye contact with the crowd and realize that the people are there to hear/see you.  Again, I understand that musicians can get lost in the music and not realize that they’re on stage, but a full set filled with your heads buried in the floor or ceiling of the venue does not make for a gig to remember.

For the record I would have no problems checking these guys out next time they’re in town.  I’m just saying that there is definitely room for improvement.

This Ship were next on the list and once again I came away impressed with how much these guys have grown over the past 8 months.  The set was filled with songs from both the current EP, “All The Stars & Elements” and the soon to be released un-named EP (the release date has been set for November so mark it down on your calendar).  

I’m not really sure that I can say anymore than I’ve already said when about this band.  The energy that pumps out from the stage is fantastic; the songs are layered, interesting and super easy to get lost in (head bobbing and toe tapping with ensue…I guarantee it).  Vocally this band is a wall of sound as every member sings and sing well (yes even the drummer).  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this band is just a little luck away from breaking out.  The next show they play is during the Halifax Pop Explosion…do yourself a favour and check them out.

The last group of the night was The Wax.  I wasn’t blown away by anything these guys did.  Musically they were tight but all in all it was a pretty un-interesting set.  There seemed to be a lot of music happening on stage but it just felt as if the band was going through the motions.  Maybe another night and another show would sway my thoughts, but from what I heard last night I wouldn’t go out of my way next time they played.

About the author


Jeff is one-fourth of the group that makes up HAFILAX. His usual ramblings can be read right here on the website. If reading isn't your thing, he also hosts the Basement Tapes podcast.