HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - Dan & Tiff

 
Friday @ Tribeca, The Khyber, Reflections
& The Seahorse Tavern
HPX 2011

Kuato @ Tribeca, HPX 2011

Friday night was the start of the “HPX weekend” and the final wave of bands and shows. My Friday started off early at Tribeca for local favorites Kuato plus a “secret guest.”
Opening up the show was Toronto's Rattail, a three piece who had only described themselves as “a three piece rock band” - not a very telling description. In actuality they were a scrappy, poppie indie rock band with female fronted vocals and a wild and sleep deprived bassist – if nothing else he kept the bands performance visually interesting, running back and forth across the stage, falling over, or even poking at the ceiling at random.
Rattail @ Tribeca, HPX 2011
The band was tight and the songs were catchy, save one slight melt down moment when attempting a new song which mostly fell apart at the end. Aside from this one minor awkward moment (which I happened to catch on video, but for the band's sake, haven't posted – we all fuck up sometimes) they put on a good show, and there was a healthy crowd, no doubt due to the the not so secret secret guest.
Instrumental powerhouses Kuato were up next, one of their first shows with a new guitarist. The band didn't disappoint, opening the show with heavy, thick bass notes and their trademark light show, which was perfectly suited to the narrow, cave like venue. The band powered through a selection of their songs, old and new, and from the looks of it impressed quite a few new fans in the audience.
Rattail @ Tribeca, HPX 2011Rattail @ Tribeca, HPX 2011

The no longer secret at all guest was, of course, the amazing Titus Andronicus, hailing from New Jersey. Due to inevitable conflicts with other headliners, myself and many others had missed the bands announced set, so it was great to be able to catch them again, especially in a smaller venue. With 5 members and plenty of guitars and synths, the show started with a lone vocal, emotive but giving no signs of what was to come, until after the first verse, the band kicked into overdrive and exploded all over the stage. It was no doubt a thrilling moment for both fans of the band and new listeners.
Titus Andronicus @ Tribeca, HPX 2011
Titus Andronicus @ Tribeca, HPX 2011Titus Andronicus @ Tribeca, HPX 2011
Titus Andronicus @ Tribeca, HPX 2011

With great bands split between a number of downtown venues, it was time for that time honoured tradition of HPX show hopping. 
My first stop was at the Seahorse to catch some of the always compelling Glory Glory.
The crowd was light but the band gave it their all as usual. Their new song sounded great, and I'm looking forward to a new record from these guys very soon.
Glory Glory - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 01
Glory Glory - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 02

After that we bounced over to the Kyber club to catch a bit of Lake Names, more great pop rock from a new Halifax band featuring current and former members of Kestrels plus fellow Truronian Jamie Densmore. The band filled the tiny upstairs room of the Khyber with the perfect smooth sounds to be dominated by the reverb of the huge ceilinged room – a room that can have awful effects on a band whose sound doesn't work with the massive echo of the cavernous space.
Lake Names @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011
Lake Names @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011Lake Names @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011
Lake Names @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011Lake Names @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011


After absorbing some summer sound it was a quick run down to Reflections to catch Kepi Ghoulie Electric, former bassist of punk band Groovie Ghoulies. They were the perfect opener for headliners Chixdiggit, with their half comedy, half punk rock style, fierce energy, and a genuinely happy vibe that seems to be so lacking in punk bands today.
Kepi Ghoulie Electric  @ Reflections, HPX 2011 - 04
Kepi Ghoulie Electric  @ Reflections, HPX 2011 - 03Kepi Ghoulie Electric  @ Reflections, HPX 2011

We dashed back to the Seahorse to catch up on that show, with Montreal's 5 piece Honheehonhee, again leaning heavily on the pop side of the explosion. With soaring synth, jangling guitars, and plenty of Oohs and Ahhs from all the band members, the band was definitely bringing the crowd up the dance floor and having a great time doing it.
Honheehonhee - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011

After that it was BACK to Reflections to catch some of headlining Canadian pop punk legends Chixdiggit. With the bar nearly full, the band played an all request set showcasing the best of their 20+ years as a band. Fans shouted out requests and the band obliged, usually with humorous stories to predate the short, fast, and catchy songs.
Chixdiggit - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 01Chixdiggit  - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 02

With a quick stop back the Seahorse we caught a few moments of Graham Wright, best known as the keyboard player for Tokyo Police Club, but clearly also adept at synthesizing his own compelling pop songs. With so many bands playing at the same time in such a small window, we didn't want to risk missing anything, so it was back over to the Kyber to catch PEI's English Words.
Graham Wright - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 01
Graham Wright - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 02Graham Wright - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 03

Almost completely eschewing normal rock band instrumentation, English Words dished out their own version of electro pop with synths, samplers, drum machines, and heavily effected guitars. Thanks to the extensive reliance on electronic instruments, the band delivered a unique sounding spin on standard pop melodies, and by this point had kicked up a decent dance floor in the huge white room.
English Words @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011 - 06
English Words @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011 - 03English Words @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011 - 04
English Words @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011 - 05English Words @ The Khyber Club, HPX 2011 - 01

Again, with headliners set to take the stage at the same time, and many venues to go around, I stuck around to catch the start of Spooky Ruben, who certainly lived up to their name with their freaky pop tunes. There were some extremely ecstatic fans in the audience, evening jumping up on stage to have their pictures taken with grinning front man himself.
Spookey Ruben @ the Khyber Club, HPX 2011
Spookey Ruben @ the Khyber Club, HPX 2011Spookey Ruben @ the Khyber Club, HPX 2011
At the same time Regina's Library Voices were taking the stage back at the Seahorse. Though their bio promised “vintage organs, circuit bent electronics, accordion, saxophone, strings, theremin, Tenori-on, and glockenspiel” I caught only standard rock band instrumentation and off the shelf digital synths, though to be fair it was a full house at the Seahorse and hard to make out the full band on stage.
Library Voices - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 01
Library Voices - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 02Library Voices - HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - 03

After an exhausting night of bar hopping, we made a mad dash to try and catch Dog Day at Gus', alas it was too far and too late, with the venue almost literally bursting at the seams with excited showgoers. Fortunately our main man Isaac caught all the action, so check out his post for more.

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