Published May 27, 2016At its northernmost end, Halifax's Granville Street is pedestrian only. Its establishments include a Boston Pizza, a Good Life Fitness and the well-known Split Crow Pub — but also the downtown campus for Halifax's NSCAD University and the Anna Leonowens Art Gallery. The street's art-meets-nightlife vibe extends to Art Bar and Cabaret Voltaire Atlantique, a former restaurant turned NSCAD-run art bar, opened this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dada movement.
I offer this preamble to help explain why one of the most enjoyable aspects of the late-night OBEY set from Halifax's Eddy — a two-piece powerhouse percussion project — was watching the reaction from unknowing passers-by. Throughout the show, Granville Street onlookers would stop by the emergency-exit-only door behind the makeshift stage and gaze in, wondering just what the heck was going on. At one point, two middle-aged women stopped for what must have been 15 minutes or so, taking photos and even headbanging a bit while musicians Nick Dourado and Nathan Doucet hammered away at their facing drum kits (not to mention pretty much everything else around them, too, from the walls to the window).
Dourado and Doucet are familiar faces to Halifax showgoers, and both are performing with other acts this weekend (Dourado in the saxophone duo xxvii, Doucet in the off-kilter guitar group Wayne World). Those sets will struggle to be quite as fun as Eddy's, though, as the band's mix of electronic beats and pulses with live percussion was kinetic, cathartic and thrilling. At times, the two players seemed perfectly in sync with one another, while at other times they intentionally let chaos reign. Just when the set felt like it was going to end with an unravelling sigh, the two rebounded for one last noisy rush, sending the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd and window-gazers alike bouncing.