So from the constant ringing in my ears, it appears that I’ve been to a punk show tonight. Yes my very first HPX show was in the form of punk and rock.
Kicking off the show was OUTTACONTROLLER. Based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, this local foursome hit the stage like a freight train running. With a bag full of punk/rock riffs and three chord songs, the lads hailing from the North End musically sounded like a legit punk band. They jumped, ran and head-banged their way through a set filled with catchy two minute punk tracks. My only complaint about the set was that I had no idea what they were saying when they were singing. Now I don’t necessarily blame the band…but I also might blame them a little bit…anyone confused yet? It could be any of the following.
- The sound guy is a volunteer and is use to only doing solo acoustic shows. Maybe a 4 piece punk band is too much to handle.
- The band sound checked and when it was time to actually play they decided that they needed to turn up the amps thus making for a muddy type sound out front.
- Or it could just be that the venue isn’t built for this type of show (I threw this one out the door as soon as I began to type it)
Needless to say when you can’t hear the vocals it’s tough to really gauge your thoughts on a show. It’s neither a yay or a nay…I give this set a push.
Second up was another band based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Cold Warps. Scaling back to one guitar, this group came across a little more clear than the act before them. With a cleaner sounding 60’s surf punk sound, the Cold Warps pumped their way through a 45 minute set that was filled with up-beat poppy/punk jams. Much like the act that came before them, Cold Warps also put on a highly energized show and were very well received by the ever growing crowd.
(Just so you know…when you are the opening acts of the show, the crowd is obviously going to be smaller than when you’re the headliner. The smaller the crowd, the tougher it is to really get into the show….don’t believe me go ahead and ask any band. With that in mind, I say bravo to both bands for putting on super entertaining sets, as if the place was at capacity)
The third act of the night, The Obits, put on, what I would describe as, the most polished set of the evening. Changing the sound up once again, The Obits were more of a dirty type of rock that had some small punk undertones. Sounding like a band that has been together for years, this foursome played a no-nonsense set that lasted a short thirty minutes (which I found a little strange, but who am I to say).
With a great hollering/singing voice and surgeon type accuracy with their instruments, The Obits might have been tight and precise but came across as fairly boring on stage. Again with a couple of theories, it could be any of the following
- They weren’t in the mood to be playing (it happens to everyone)
- They expected more from the crowd (if you give it, you should recieve it)
- This is just how they play. They get up, sing their songs and leave (doesn’t make it right or wrong…it just is what it is)
In all honesty for as good as they were musically I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them again.
With the first three acts done it was time for me to bolt, but thankfully Justin was sticking around and would finish off the evening.
The last act of the night was one of the bigger names in the HPX 2013 edition, Wavves. Unlike the first three bands that took to the stage there seemed to be a large amount of anxious engergy in the crowd. Being the headlining act it would only make sense that the audiance would be amped up for the group that call California home, and with the first step on stage, that energy errupted into a full on roar.
Leading off the set with songs from their first album “King Of The Beach”, Wavves had the crowd into a frenzy right from the get go. With shirts being torn off, constant moshing and crowd surfing it was easy to see that this set was going to be special (as a photographer at the show we were asked to clear out of the pit so that the security guards could prevent people getting thrown over the guardrail…it was wild).
And how did Wavves sound you might ask? As expected, they sounded really good. It wasn’t as polished as their recorded work but that didn’t take away from the awesomeness that was Wavves. Playing non-stop to a full house, Wavves covered most of their latest two releases. They even sent some love out there for all of the GTA fans by playing their newest release, “Nine Is God”.
With the closing of the set, there was no doubt that Wavves were the right choice to headline this show. A killer set, great sounding music and a confident stage pressence was all that would be needed to push any doubt aside.
Here’s their setlist of the night…
1. Post Acid
4. Hippies Is Punx
6. Demon To Lean On
7. Linus Spacehead
8. Nine Is God
10. Friends Were Gone
11. Thats On Me
12. Afraid Of Heights
13. Beat Me Up
14. King Of The Beach
15. No Hope Kids
16. Sail To The Sun
17. Green Eyes