Every once in a while I go to a show that absolutely blows my mind. Last night’s show at El Mocambo did just that.
It’s funny, because before the bands came on I was talking with Zack Mykula, the drummer of Topanga, about bands that blow your mind live. I hadn’t seen a particularly mind-blowing show in quite a while, and I had high expectations for Honheehonhee, the energetic band from Montreal who recently released their debut LP Shouts.
First up for the night was Atom Division, who were essentially a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. While they seemed to enjoy their songs and the audience was having somewhat of a good time, they didn’t really jump out at me all that much. Partly it was because of how static the band members were on stage, although they somewhat remedied this problem toward their last few numbers.
The next band was PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots). I had never until then seen the band live (or heard their music) but I certainly remembered the name from writing up listings for CMW and the like. The band was quite amusing to watch, and they obviously had a huge number of loyal fans in the audience as they sang songs about drinking and even one song called “Asshole Pandemic.” Not long after they started their first number I was sprayed with beer. The band is definitely one that appeals to a certain demographic. I can’t say that I’m part of that demographic but I definitely liked the energy they put into their songs. Should they make it bigger they’ll definitely have an audience that will eat out of the palm of their hands.
Honheehonhee then took the stage. At first I was worried that they would be playing to a handful of people– those who had stayed since the very beginning. My fear was quickly remedied, though; their opening number “We Never Sleep” quickly drew everyone to the front of the stage.
To say that the band had energy would be very much an understatement. It’s one thing to hear this energy recorded, but it’s quite another to see them perform live. The secondary guitar player and bass player would sometimes switch instruments, and the bass player at one point jumped onto an amp while ducking under a speaker and playing. The keyboardist, when she didn’t have something to play, would rock near the drummer or with the lead singer.
As for the songs, boy were they incredible as well. Their setlist was their album Shouts albeit not in the order they were on the CD. It’s hard to say one number stood out more than the others because all were near-perfect. Of note was the amazing rock ending to “To The Silo” and the shouting “One, two, three, four!” that opened their closing number “We All Go.”
I’ll even go so far as to say that Honheehonhee put on the best bar show I’ve attended this year.
Time restrictions meant I couldn’t stick around for Topanga, but I’m confident that their show was just as awesome (if not even more awesome) than they were when I saw them live at the end of July. I have confidence that this band is going to be doing great things.
If I’ve learned anything from last night’s show it’s this: everyone should make a point of seeing Honheehonhee at some point in their lives.