HPX 2010 - Night #5 RECAP! // Part #1 - Gwyneth & Isaac

St. Matthew’s Church

Lixar Presents - Handsome Furs & Silly Kissers
08:00 PM - Silly Kissers
09:00 PM - Handsome Furs

The Handsome Furs committed many feats of blasphemy at St. Matthew’s church on Saturday night.

But surely the crowd could have raised the electro-punk duo to heaven with the roar of their applause.

“Please don’t tell baby Jesus I had Jamieson for dinner,” said Dan Boeckner.

With that, Boeckner and wife Alexei Perry launched into a set that made no more apologies.

HPX 2010 - Handsome Furs 03

The vaulted ceilings of the church were ringing with loops of beats and feedback from Boeckner’s aggressive guitar playing. Boeckner’s voice may be familiar fans of Wolf Parade; he is, afterall, their singer as well.

Perry did not stay still ; instead lunging behind the keyboard and hopping up and down. To heighten the drama of the stage act, at different points in the set, both Perry and Boeckner collapsed on the hardwood floor.

 HPX 2010 - Handsome Furs 02

The gospel of the Handsome Furs was well received by the audience. The concert could have been a revival meeting; with fans surging into the aisles and choirs stalls to dance.

Boeckner and Perry’s onstage chemistry was scintillating to watch. They were at ease in front of the capacity crowd: Perry said it was more like playing at a house party than at a church.

They show was simply magnificent in one of the city’s most spectacular venues.
So go on, kids --- drink the Handsome Furs Kool-Aid and pray for their quick return to Halifax.

  HPX 2010 - Handsome Furs 01

The Paragon Theatre

Sirius Satellite Radio Canada Presents
09:00 PM - Dilly Dally
10:00 PM - Ghostkeeper
11:00 PM - Cuff the Duke
01:15 AM - Young Rival

On the last night of the festival, the show at the Paragon was sponsored and broadcast by CBC Radio 3. This fact that was hard to forget with a banner strung behind the stage and their host, Craig Norris, appearing between every set.

While CBC Radio 3’s role in promoting new Canadian music shouldn’t be forgotten, Cuff the Duke’s reverence for the station was a little hard to take.

Lead singer Wayne Petty, repeatedly thanked the station for their support. The sentiment was sweet, but it became obnoxious after it was repeated again .... and again ... and again.

Without the freedom to goof around on stage, the musicians were left abiding by their strict set list. No f-bombs were dropped and there was no witty/lewd banter between band and the audience. You call this rock and roll?

There was little charm or nuance in Cuff the Duke’s performance. Their objective was clear; pound through the set and get off stage in time to air advertisement over the radio.

Performance aside, Cuff the Duke has the woeful-folkiness of a band of West Virginia miners. It’s a little unsettling to hear this sound coming from a bunch of white boys from Canada.

It’s easy to hear the influence of Blue Rodeo in the songs from their album “Way Down Here”. Afterall, one of Blue Rodeo’s songwriters,Greg Kellor, produced that album.

Towards the end of the set, the band started to loosen up and expand their sound. Guitarist Dale Murray had an over-the-top solo in “Promises” that redeemed the sleepiness of the show.

People were lined-up around the building at midnight when Tokyo Police Club started to play.
The foursome from Newmarket, Ont. was arguably the headlining band of the evening, though technically they didn’t play last.

Their singer, Dave Monks, wooed the crowd with his pubescent-sounding voice and Bieber-like haircut. His falsetto recalls feelings of teenage angst and young love, making even the coldest of hearts melt a little.

The band’s music has the nostalgic flavour of 80s synth-pop band. This is a pretty remarkable feat seeing as the average age of the band members is 23 years old.

Keyboardist Graham Wright displayed his typical showmanship; whipping around tambourines at a fearsome rate and wailing on his synthesizer.

Like Cuff the Duke, Tokyo Police Club seemed very rehearsed. They didn’t have any of the improvisation or off the cuff comments that endear bands to audiences. After all, there is only so much flexibility you can have during a live radio broadcast.

With a well planned set, they ended their show with the euphoric, “Your English Is Good”. The highlight of the show had the crowd riotously dancing, with many trying to rush the stage.

Isaac @ Tribeca

08:30 PM - Three Sheet
09:30 PM - Random Recipe
10:30 PM - Radio Radio

After a full week of working, attending shows and writing reviews I had entered full blown HPX fatigue so decided to make it an early night and go check out Three Sheet’s opening set at the Tribeca. I reviewed Three Sheet last month and made it pretty
Clear that I enjoyed them immensely. In case I wasn’t clear enough, allow me to be crystal clear: I fucking love this band.

Three Sheet were in fine form on Saturday night. They started playing their set to a nearly empty bar but they played with enthusiasm and gusto anyhow. It wasn’t long before the bar was packed and everyone was dancing. The group sounded fantastic and they seemed to be having a lot of fun with their set. They posses a great onstage chemistry and a palpable camaraderie which was cranked up to 11.

Every member of the band was given a chance to go center stage and show off their chops during the set. This included bass solos, guitar solos, vocal solos and of course, beat box solos. Three Sheet are a talented, versatile group and they seem to be trying to stretch the boundaries of their music as far as they can in every direction. they play great hard-rock, hip hop, old school party rap, funk, blues…. Just about any genre you can name finds itself somewhere in Three Sheet’s sonic rolodex.

The band played their well known local hits and added all kinds of fun extras including new songs, enjoyable banter and little musical interludes. EMC got to show off his inhuman ability to make the most inhuman noises imaginable. This guy has to be seen to be believed. I was blown away by his beat boxing when I saw them a month ago but this most recent performance blew it out of the water. Vanessa Furlong’s voice sounded fantastic. She has loads of charisma and her presence makes the songs that much stronger. She sings hooks that you can latch onto with the first listen but also become more appealing the more you hear them. Expedyte was on fire too, he and EMC traded mics at times so EMC could rap and Expedyte could beat box. This was awesome. Expedyte did a fine job with the beat boxing and EMC sported a flow that was mind boggling, especially when he would beat box and rap simultaneously. That shit is insane.

Three Sheet are one of the best bands in town. They know how to make art but they also know how to throw a party.


The final update, of our HPX coverage will be posted tonight...
Keep an eye out!


No comments: