We’ve waxed poetic about all the things we’ve missed about live music while the pandemic made in-person performances impossible, from grumbling about when the show would start to the rush of giddy embarrassment when you get an artist to autograph your album. Now that Nova Scotia has entered its Phase 4 of reopening, we’ve wasted no time reacquainting ourselves with Halifax’s lush, vibrant and pulsing live music ecosystem—and luckily for us, it was ready for our return, wasting no time with a slate of must-see shows. Here are a handful we’ll be taking in this week (but don’t miss this list of must-see livestreams happening as part of the Halifax Jazz Festival, too).
Thursday, July 22
Braden Lam: Tunes at Noon
The beloved downtown Halifax summer institution Tunes at Noon is back, with free lunch-hour showcases taking place on the waterfront’s Salt Yard Stage on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until mid-August. One of the first acts up? The SOCAN Award For Young Canadian Songwriters-winning Braden Lam, whose folk-streaked pop has made fans out of Team Coast from the first note.
Thu Jul 22, noon-1pm, Salt Yard Stage, Halifax Waterfront Salter Block, free
Related Taking five with Braden Lam: The folky star-on-the-rise answers our most burning questions as he celebrates a new EP.
Friday, July 23
Keeper E. w/Burry
We knew whenever we returned to Gus’ Pub it’d be as sweet and salty as the Agricola Street spot’s beloved chip bowl used to be—but this double hitter of indie pop awesomeness feels even better than we could’ve hoped. New to the haunting voice and ripened-on-the-vine lyrics of Keeper E.? Peep this must-see video of hers from earlier this year.
Fri Jul 23, 8pm, Gus’ Pub, 2605 Agricola Street, $10, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets
Related In memory of the Chip Bowl at Gus’ Pub: Did we really all used to share a communal bowl of Party Mix before the show?
Related Must-watch music video: The tide is high but Keeper E. is holding on: A fresh new voice in the Halifax scene that's ready to talk about the climate crisis.
Sunday, July 25
Matt Steele w/Awolk
We can’t quit listening to the delicious, old-school cowboy rock fun of Matt Steele’s new single, “Falling Asleep at the Metal Show.” This espresso shot of a Sunday show, though, promises to keep you wide awake for hours after.
Sun Jul 25, 7:30pm, Gus’ Pub, 2605 Agricola Street, $10/PWYC, etransfer email@example.com for tickets
Related I miss everything about live music: The big things like the thrill of a band starting an encore, but also the many little things.
Monday, July 26
Rose Cousins w/Zamani
Fresh off her Juno win for best Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year, Rose Cousins comes to god's country (that'd be the Annapolis Valley) to deliver a dose of her heart-fortifying brand of singer-songwriter tunes. Warming the stage is the certified triple-threat Zamani, whose R&B stylings nabbed her the Artist of the Year award at the African Nova Scotian Music Awards.
Mon Jul 26, 6pm, The Marquee Tent at Lightfoot & Wolfville, 11143 Evangeline Trail, Wolfville, $1,548.85 for table of 10 (includes wine and meal), sonicconcerts.com