Friday night proved to be everything expected from the Junos extravaganza with the city of Halifax out in attendance at every venue I stopped at. As a music writer for three years, I haven’t felt Halifax this vibrant since the ECMAs in 2003. It was as if people knew they shouldn’t miss the experience of great live music. Needless to say, I’m a pretty tired guy and I still have two nights of revelry ahead.
The evening started at Stage Nine with the Air Traffic Control show. Even though 10 p.m. is ungodly early by H-town standards, the bar was half-full, a good sign for things to come. The Comstocks from Lunenburg put on a lively set of melodic rock tunes that earned them the interest of at least one record industry type, seen offering his card after the show.
Afterwards, I headed to the Waterfront Warehouse for a dose of Universal Soul in front of a hugely energetic audience. US threw it down as usual, so much so that at one point the stage had to be held together by fans. The only question I was left with was when is this talented quartet of musicians going to release something new?
Next, I walked up the hill to the Seahorse to catch the midnight set from Dr. Dfunkt in might have been the most raucous, hardest dancing crowd yet. The guys were spot on tonight despite guitarist Craig Mercer suffering from a recent bout of tendonitis and a show immediately afterwards with his other band, Jimmy Swift, at Reflections. These guys are a group to watch out for in the near future.
Finally, I wound up at Tribeca for the second ever live show of Selfconscious, the new Mike O’Neill (of Inbreds fame) project. It was a blast from the past as the duo ripped through several O’Neill originals as well as his former band’s tunes. The fact that Tribeca used to be the epicenter of the Halifax Pop Explosion of the mid-90s as the former home of Sloan’s Murderrecords made the show even more special. For a moment, it was as if we were stuck in a time warp.
The party continued with a DJ set from multi-Juno Award winner K-os and DJ Jazz, throwing down the old school hip-hop and funk. As I stumbled home, bleary eyed from the spectacle I had just witnessed, I couldn't help be glad that I had took Monday off from work to recover from what was sure to be a long, but fun, weekend ahead.