As is often the case when Joel Plaskett plays solo in Halifax, his father Bill joined him for a good portion of the show. This was the first time, however, I've ever seen Bill play one of his own tunes with Joel backing him up. Beautiful job, sir.
Joel flew in from Dallas, Texas, early Saturday morning to play this show; he and the Emergency have been opening for The Tragically Hip down south. His playing or stage presence didn't suffer from the lack of rest, though. Considering the number of times I've seen Joel play over the last...13 years?...I never tire of his show banter. Some artists repeat the same schtick show after show, year after year, but not Joel. With a sly grin, he encouraged the audience at St. Matts to join in and "Make it sound like my kitchen...my big, Christian kitchen." He's full of stories, anecdotes, wisecracks, silly asides.
Joel made reference to his previous band Thrush Hermit's appearance at the inaugural Halifax Pop Explosion in 1993 (among other years) and noted Saturday's foggy and rainy weather seemed appropriate to the event. "All we need is a hurricane," he added.
Long-time fans and newer converts alike were not disappointed with the expansive set list. Joel played tunes from all of his solo and Emergency records, as well as a few new tunes and "Before You Leave" from Thrush Hermit's Clayton Park album.
Doesn't matter what I write, I won't do the show justice. Another legendary performance from a down-to-earth hometown guy. And my Mom really liked him too.