Live music’s new look: Behind the mask with the Hypochondriacs
Out-of-province band returns to Halifax after nearly two years
November 29, 2021, 1:15 pm ASTLast Updated: November 29, 2021, 2:39 pm
The Hypochondriacs had a gig scheduled in the city “the week the world ended,” said bandleader Josh Bravener.
“We were booked to play here. And then we ended up cancelling before the venue did because, like, just for the safety for everyone,” said Bravener, lead singer and guitarist for the band. “I wasn’t comfortable going out of province at that time. And then since then, it’s kind of just been like a waiting game.”
The Hypochondriacs, a six-piece rockabilly band from Fredericton, played their first show in Nova Scotia since the pandemic began on Friday night at the Seahorse Tavern on Gottingen Street.
Packing themselves and their gear into separate cars, they drove the four-plus hours to Halifax for 6:30 p.m. After spending an hour setting up and doing the soundcheck they went upstairs to grab dinner in The Local.
They laughed about the potential crowd size. “If anyone comes we’ll be happy. We’re just happy to be here. We’re not hoping for anything,” Bravener said.
“We’re happy to play a live show, even if it’s just for the sound guy,” said Kelly Waterhouse, singer and saxophonist.
The band played at 11 p.m., something “we’re not used to doing anymore,” said Jeannine Gallant, who sings and plays trombone for the band.
They opened the show with an uptempo number, ending with a guitar solo from guitarist Connor Fox that drew the shoulder-to-shoulder audience to the dance floor.
The crowd was dense and sweaty. Condensation clearly gathered inside the masks worn by the audience as they moved with the music.
“It got very hot, very warm. It’s nice to have a crowd dancing that isn’t your local crowd. So it’s nice that we had supporters here that liked it,” said Bravener after the show.
“We had like, a crew dancing in front which was amazing. Just magic,” said Waterhouse.
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