HPX Day 5: Nevado Records Pizza Party, METZ, Japandroids & More

Saturday, October 26, 2013

After devouring Lobster Eggs Benedict at Your Father’s Moustache (highly recommended!) and restraining ourselves from purchasing all of the vinyl at the Record and Zine fair, we headed out to spend the rest of the afternoon at the Nevado Records showcase at The Company House that came complete with free pizza!


Megan Bonnell (The Company House, 2:00PM)

A voice that could move mountains with the strength of its loveliness, the sonorous Megan Bonnell split her time on stage between piano-based arrangements and strumming away on the guitar. Bonnell broke the nervous air with banter, checking in frequently to make sure the audience had filled their bellies with adequate amounts of free pizza, and she pleaded forgiveness as she tuned her guitar between songs with the lament that she is “a piano player trying to play guitar.”

Introducing us to her most recent release, Hunt and Chase, which dropped in October, its haunting beauty is definitely worth checking out!

HPX: Megan Bonnell @ The Company House, 26-10-13 HPX: Megan Bonnell @ The Company House, 26-10-13


GROUNDERS (The Company House, 3:00PM)

Toronto band GROUNDERS has begun letting more of their personality shine since the release of their EP, Wreck of a Smile, and weren’t shy to do so to this new audience – sending out songs to “pizza, pizzas everywhere” as well as to various forms of alcohol. Their first time in Halifax, they wowed the afternoon festival-goers with their resplendent and intricately layered pop melodies, many of whom were likely hearing them for the first time.

You can now catch GROUNDERS opening up for the Ontario dates of much-loved PEI band Two Hours Traffic’s farewell tour.

HPX: Grounders @ The Company House, 26-10-13 HPX: Grounders @ The Company House, 26-10-13 HPX: Grounders @ The Company House, 26-10-13


Royal Canoe (The Company House, 4:00PM)

Difficult to find a place to breathe amidst the dancing revellers at the Seahorse the night before, we enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy Winnipeg band, Royal Canoe a second time, this time with no distractions, allowing us the luxury to pay closer attention to the hypnotically fluid movements of the two drummers, amongst other elements. We were left with a heightened appreciation for the intricacy of the band’s complex arrangements and the mastery of their instruments possessed by each member.

HPX: Royal Canoe @ The Company House, 26-10-13 HPX: Royal Canoe @ The Company House, 26-10-13 HPX: Royal Canoe @ The Company House, 26-10-13


METZ (Olympic Community Hall, 10:00PM)

Hockey fiends that we are, we took a break from all the music to fit in a Halifax Mooseheads game – they won! – before heading out to the Olympic Community Hall later that night. Fighting through the long and winding line-up, we were able to get settled on the balcony just in time for METZ to come out and immediately begin melting faces with their ruthlessly savage noise rock. Songs like “Wet Blanket” and “Get Off” had the crowd frantically sieging forward. Knowing the Polaris Prize short-listed band has earned itself quite the following in Toronto and Southern Ontario, it was a bit overwhelming to realize that the madness has indeed spread all the way to the East Coast as well.

HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13
HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: METZ @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13


Japandroids (Olympic Community Hall, 11:00PM)
One of the bands we were both highly anticipating, in the days leading up to their set I was beginning to think I’d travelled all the way to the East Coast to finally have the chance to see West Coast duo Japandroids live.

Coming to the end of a lengthy 1+ year of touring, the two men were a bit worse for wear, and there was a rawness to vocalist Brian King’s voice that became more and more pronounced as the set forged on. They didn’t let this slow them down however and the duo’s emanating passion and intensity was equally matched by the jam-packed crowd who ebbed and flowed en masse right along with them. Even from the safety of the balcony you could still smell the sweat of the crowd-surfers permeating the air. I don’t know whether I’ve felt more alive – or more tempted to be a part of a mosh pit – than I did while yelling along to the explosive “Younger Us” and the anthemic battle cry of “The House that Heaven Built” before their set finally came to an exultant finale. Whether or not it was entirely true that I travelled halfway across the country for this band, it was well worth the trip – especially upon learning that this would be their last show on Canadian soil for the foreseeable future!

HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13
HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13 HPX: Japandroids @ Olympic Community Hall, 26-10-13


Suuns (The Seahorse Tavern, 1:00AM)

Still some energy left in us yet, we headed to The Seahorse to end our HPX with Montreal’s Suuns. As it was the weekend before Halloween, the venue was filled with people in costume, drunkenly dancing the night away at this point. Far too sober for it all, the low-tempo, chilled-out vibe of the band was no match for the din of the crowd and took away from our first live experience with this much-buzzed about band. The weight of the week soon took hold and so we opted not to stick it out until the very end – but Suuns is definitely on our list to check out again the next time we have the chance in Toronto.

HPX: Suuns @ Seahorse Tavern, 26-10-13


Till next year, Halifax – we’re still so full of seafood and East Coast hospitality!

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Categories: HPX 2013

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