Things are still popping – Dan Mangan, Racoon Bandit, Dennis Ellsworth The Haunted Hearts

Today’s post is a two-parter because, due to complications, this kid didn’t get in to see Dan Mangan. So enjoy part one from Joel, who is clever and did get to see Dan.


Brief note to groupies:
If you’re going to sing obnoxiously loud, please know the words to the song (not just the last two words in each line, sung moments after the musician), and be able to fucking sing.

Thursday night at St. Matthew’s Church was phenomenal. The girlfriend and I arrived fairly early, but the place was already quite packed. We took a seat in the last row, and settled in to hear The Daredevil Christopher Wright‘s set. So far, these dudes are the hidden gem of Pop Explosion for me. They might be super famous, I don’t know, but they were new to me. They had fantastic lyrics, great (sincere-feeling) banter with the crowd, and incredible voices. I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of their stuff.

Things are still popping – Dan Mangan, Racoon Bandit, Dennis Ellsworth The Haunted Hearts

The Daredevil Christopher Wright

Following them were The Crackling, whose members are all from Dan Mangan’s band. They were quite good, but honestly not my favourite
thing ever. They’re obviously all fabulously talented, but I found myself just hoping their set would wrap up.

Then, of course, was Dan. There’s little else that needs to be said apart from the note that starts my post, and this: I saw Dan Mangan
sing “Robots” in the middle of a church full of people singing along with him.

He sang without a mic, standing on pews in the centre of the church.The whole band came out into the crowd, even the stand-up bass. It was just Dan, his band, the crowd, and the fucking groupies behind us (howling like abandoned weirdo hipster puppies), singing our hearts out to an amazing tune.

St. Matthew’s was the perfect venue for all these guys. We had an amazing time.

Pop Explosion rocks!


Time for part two:

After facing rejection at the Dan Mangan show, I headed down to the Carleton to check out  Racoon Bandit and Dennis Ellsworth & the Haunted Hearts. Both bands hail from PEI and both are fantastic. Racoon Bandit played a great set, and had the crowd’s attention. They have a great folk rock vibe and played a few of my favorites so I was very pleased. Fraser McCallum played the first few numbers with an acuoustic guitar and it really added a great sound to their set.

Then it was time for Dennis Ellsworth & the Haunted Hearts to take the stage. I have been a big fan of Dennis’ since his days in the Rude Mechanicals. He has a great voice, and fantastic stage presence. I had not seen him live with the Haunted Hearts until last night and I was not disappointed. It was a great night of music at the Carleton, great atmosphere and just wanted I needed to end a hectic Thursday.

Tags: DanMangan, Dennis Ellsworth, halifax pop explosion


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