It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 2 weeks since Vancouver indie-pop band Fake Shark graced the Seahorse Tavern stages. It was the last stop on their cross-Canada trek, and what better room could you choose to wrap a tour? On the same bill were local favourites Dub Kartel and Party Boots, but those who arrived to the venue early were treated to a set that was a neon-drenched high energy affair that would easily get a more robust crowd moving.
The band recently underwent something of a name change as they streamlined their formerly verbose moniker Fake Shark Real Zombie into simply Fake Shark. For a relatively unknown act here on the East Coast, it was evident that Kevin “Kevvy Mental” Mahar, Louis Wu and Tony Dallas have been making music together for quite some time. There was the definite polish and swagger of a band who have been making music for over a decade (the band formed in 2005), but it was still somewhat embarrassing for Halifax to have such a paltry turnout (having Dub Kartel open the night and pull in their faithful followers may have brought in a new receptive audience) for a new and exciting act visiting the East Coast.
HAFILAX has been a fan of Fake Shark for quite some time, having featured “Cheap Thrills” on our Midweek Mixdown all the way back in August of 2015, and more recently the band’s potential breakout hit “Heart 2 Heart” was featured on a Friday Night Soundtrack mix. When the news came down that Fake Shark would be in Halifax, you knew that the date was circled on our calendar. Fortunately, the music gods smiled upon us, and made it possible to hit up the annual Garrison Backlot bash to catch The Sheepdogs, before we made our way to the Seahorse for Fake Shark. Unfortunately, the room wasn’t a flurry of activity as it had been recently for Hillsburn/Hello Delaware, and instead played host to roughly 50 folks (including the band and staff).
Over the course of close to 45 minutes, the band worked through a large percentage of their latest album Faux Real (highly recommended!) and managed to earn themselves a small but mighty legion of Haligoons. While the band consisted of the aforementioned trio of Kevvy, Louis and Tony, it was rounded out by a drummer and keyboardist, and they made the most of the intimate space by incorporating a fog machine, a sweet compact laser rig, and a strategically placed fan in front of Kevvy’s mic stand to keep those pink locks flowing all night long.
I really can’t say enough about how fucking fun this set was; the paltry crowd didn’t stop these Vancouver lads from putting on a neon-drenched, synth-pop extravaganza. From the crowd work, playing to those fortunate fans who got to take in this special tour-closing set, to Kevvy hopping down onto the dance floor and surprising a handful of folks with a trust-fall. Those in attendance got to hear the aforementioned tracks “Cheap Thrills” and “Heart 2 Heart” (which both sounded great live), as well as “Something Special”, “NOFOMO”, and even a cover of Prince’s “KISS”. As the band wound down their opening set, the crowd had grown steadily from the 2 of us who were down front from the opening track. I would love to see Fake Shark make their way back east for Halifax Pop Explosion; they would be a fun act to pair with another HAFILAX favourite in Repartee, as both acts share a similar high-energy electro-pop vibe.