I managed to make it to the second day of Halifax Pop Explosion and caught three artists, all at the Halifax Forum Multi-Purpose Centre.
The headliner was Japandroids, who are a very tight band. I found myself a bit underwhelmed, however. They know how to start a song, but it quickly turns into fairly generic rock music. Not bad, just not all that memorable. They were the most technically skilled band of the three and had the most polished stage show. I just wish there had been more in their music to make them stand out.
Before them, Cloud Nothings played. When I was an Angry Young Man™ I would have loved them. They were loud and fast. Their drummer was extraordinary. I’m no longer an Angry Young Man™, and I found it was a bit much for me. Not bad, not bad at all, but no longer totally my thing.
That brings me to my first band of the evening. I got there part way through their set. They were technically the weakest of the three, but they have something. The Courtneys. I remember their songs, partially because I’ve been listening to them half the day. They were great. Sometimes technical mastery is overrated and having a good sound matters a lot more. Their track Lost Boys is a great callback to one of my favourite eighties movies. Manion is the song that made the most impact on me. Basically, I became a fan quite quickly. Check them out if you get the chance (they are playing at Gus’s pub tonight, going on at 1 AM according to the schedule. I will be there).