HPX Day#1: Tuesday Oct 18th 2011 - ISAAC

EXCLAIM! Presents:
BRAIDS @ Reflections Cabaret
HPX 2011

Klarka Weinwurm
Pepper Rabbit - http://www.pepperrabbitmusic.com/
Ohbijou - http://ohbijou.com/
BRAIDS - http://www.facebook.com/braidsmusic

The first night of HPX is always a surreal experience. The Pop Explosion is one of Halifax’s coolest annual events and you can feel the excitement in the air. It makes our humble city’s downtown feel like a metropolis. I spent last night at reflections and was pleased to find the place packed to the brim with music fans. It’s a great sign when a festival’s first night (a Tuesday no less) is so well attended. On my walk to reflections I noticed other venues like Gus’ and the Seahorse were full of people as well. It looks like this year is going to be another smashing success.

As for the music, Pepper Rabbit was the first band I caught. They were the most straightforward band of the night. Their music had good pop hooks and a lot of drive.

A lot of people were excited for Ohbijou and the band definitely delivered. They weave a fascinating collogue of sounds that flirt with rock, pop and art-noise without ever firmly landing in one genre for too long. The crowd was subdued but captivated (all the better for working my way to the front of the stage and getting some sweet video).

Braids closed the night with a powerful set. Their music is dense and effects laden and the vocals are astounding. Their music is as beautiful as a lullaby and as forceful as a fist in the face. The reflections show boasted great sound and a lightshow perfectly suited to the bands that played: not too flashy but dripping with atmosphere. The sheer force that Braids display without ever going into full rock-out mode was most impressive. They're definitely a band worth checking out.


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