HPX Day#4: Friday Oct 21st 2011 - ISAAC

Dog Day @ Gus' Pub
HPX 2011

Review & Videos by Isaac Thompson 
Friday night at Gus’ is usually a wild time regardless of what week it is, but when the Pop Explosion is in town and Gus’ has removed all the tables from the bar, you know it’s going to be fucking ridiculous.

The bar was well attended but not packed when I showed up just in time for Reversing Falls. I’ve reviewed these guys before and I still like them a lot. Their style is melodic and powerful; driving rock with a touch of shoegazer fuzz. They played a great set , it was so good that I let 2/3rds of them crash in my living room!

The Skeletones Four also had an awesome set. One thing I really liked about this band is how their sound is soaked in rock and roll tradition yet sounds completely original. They play the kind of rock music that is great to see live, it’s fun, danceable and has enough edge to keep from being derivative.

At this point, people started showing up. A lot of people. The bar was full to capacity and there were hundreds of people lined up down the block waiting to get in. It had reached the point where if you wanted to go outside for a smoke or some fresh air you weren’t going to get back in. Shotgun Jimmy hit the stage and I was trapped by to the side of the stage by the massive audience. There was no moving until the performance was over.

Luckily, Shotgun Jimmie’s set was amazing. It might my favorite of the festival. I was familiar with a fair number of his songs but even the ones I didn’t know were instantly likeable and full of intelligence, wit and a quirky charm. Not to mention the songs rock and sound great performed with his three piece band. After one of their songs the audience roared with applause and catcalls and Jimmie looked to his band with a big, boyish grin and held his arms in the air like a boxer, “We’re killin' it guys, we’re killin' it!”. His childlike enthusiasm in his stage presence puts you on his side immediately and then he smacks you in the jaw with his awesome songs and killer riffs- I don’t think there was a soul in that bar that wasn’t affected by it. I can’t recommend Shotgun Jimmie’s live show enough.

The excitement somehow grew even higher and the bar grew even more insane as Dog Day performed.

Dog Day are a very reliable band, their shows are guaranteed to be worth watching and everyone knows it. I’ve never seen them play at a place that wasn’t totally packed to the gills with raving fans. This east coast duo has an extremely loyal and ever-growing fan base for one reason: They are fucking killer.

It wasn’t an event for the claustrophobic, people were everywhere and they were going nuts. After seeing so many pop explosion shows where the audience is subdued and respectful (which is nice too!) it’s always great to attend a show where chaos rules, where anything can happen at any time, where you can hardly move because there are dozens of people pushing you in every direction, where if you’re not careful you might get a boot to the face. This was the show I’d been waiting for.


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