Published Jun 09, 2012Hermetic duo Eric Axen (guitar) and Bart Newman (drums) seemed like nice enough guys. Axen made a few awkward jokes between songs, and pointed out that Newman's parents were in the audience, braving the Main and Hastings locale to show support for their son. Unfortunately, it would take a parent's love to overlook all the faults in their performance this evening. They bludgeoned the Rickshaw with a perpetual throwback to '90s alt-rock, adding little to the dialogue that wasn't already said by the time Empire Records hit theatres, let alone 20 years after the fact. Their body language seemed to indicate that they were plowing on just to get through it. There were no dynamics to Hermetic's set, all songs roughly playing at the same tempo and volume, while Newman and Axen traded ill-advised vocals. Axen's voice was warbly and flat, while Newman's echoes and back-ups tended toward the whiny side. Hopefully someone bought Newman's parents a drink or two for the effort, or at least one of those homemade calzones the neighbourhood gentleman was selling out of a tupperware container in the lobby.