Music

Ontario band Double Experience accepts all players

'We allow them to get their nerd on a little bit with us'

Double Experience wear shirts inspired by Pokémon's Team Rocket.
Double Experience bandmembers wear shirts inspired by Pokémon’s Team Rocket.   Teri Boates

Ottawa-based band Double Experience showed Halifax concert-goers that it’s cool to be nerdy, with a stop on the East Coast.

“It’s never been more okay to just say, ‘I’m a nerd, it’s really cool’,” says Ian Nichols, the band’s bassist and singer.

Inspired by video games and science fiction, the sound, aesthetic and tours of Double Experience revolve around anything considered geeky. Last weekend the “nerdy neo-rock” band brought its Pokémon Go themed tour, the “Lure Tour,” to The Pavilion. 

For some in the audience, it was their first live music experience, but Double Experience welcomed them with open arms – keeping in mind their video game theme.

“This is a multiplayer experience,” Nichol shouted across The Pavillion as teenagers sheepishly inched closer to the stage.

Nichols says the band finds an authenticity by writing about topics reflecting their interests and life, while including an element of fantasy.

At the end of the day everybody just wants to get their freak on a little bit,” he says. “We allow them to get their nerd on a little bit with us.”

The band’s latest album, Unsaved Progress, includes songs such as “The Glimmer Shot,” inspired by the hit video game Destiny, and a cover track of Blue Öyster Cult’s “Godzilla.”

Members of the band wear matching Team Rocket Pokémon shirts on stage, and encourage others to show their authentic selves.

We’re very much putting ourselves out there and going, ‘this is who we are, so show us who you are’,” says guitarist Brock Tinsley. “And they come to our shows and we’ll meet in the middle and catch Pokémon together.”

Audience members are able to spin a life-sized PokéStop to win prizes.
Audience members are able to spin a life-sized PokéStop to win prizes.   Teri Boates

The tour features a life-sized replica of a Pokémon Go PokéStop. Attendees are able to spin the PokéStop to redeem prizes such as guitar picks, candy and free music downloads.

A PokéStop is a designated area in the mobile game Pokémon Go where players can stop and collect helpful game items. Pokémon Go has been downloaded world-wide more than 100 million times since it’s debut this past summer.

We just want to do something different,” says drummer Dafydd Cartwright.

We see a lot of bands play, we see a lot of the same (merchandise) tables. We just wanted to stand out a little.”

Double Experience does more than praise “nerdiness” to be inclusive. It does something that few bands are willing to do: play all-age shows.

The Pavilion is one of the last remaining all-ages venue for music in Halifax. It is also the only Halifax location Double Experience played on the Lure Tour.

We do feel it’s important to keep appearing at places like this,” says Tinsley. “Everyone’s welcome, everyone should be able to see live music. Not just, ‘you have to drink and see live music.’”

The band previously toured to Canadian schools to educate young people about music and Nichols hopes they will help influence the next generation of musicians.

From Halifax, Double Experience will continue the Lure Tour to New Brunswick, Northern Ontario and the Prairies.