This was my first time going to a show at Pro Skates. It's small and personal and dark. There's plenty of skulls and pentagrams and skateboard decks. Needless to say I felt comfortable.
The first band up was Burdens. They started their set by announcing that their singer couldn't make it and that the guitarist would be filling in on vocal duties. I think if their singer bails on another show they should give him the boot because that dude totally held it down. Burdens are noisy and mathy with lots of weird starts and stops and feedback that seemed to always be under control. It was a good start to the evening for sure.
Next up was Castle Wolfenstein, a band I've been pumped on for a while now but never seen live. They didn't disappoint. They had a much more straight forward approach than Burdens (whom they share members with), meshing hardcore and black metal. Their lead singer was pretty amped up and made for a really high energy set.
Billie Dre And The Poor Boys are a band of heavily tattooed, Bearded guys playing Alt-Country from a punk perspective. Some songs featured a tuba which wasn't quite exciting enough to hold my attention. I've seen so many bands over the past year or so that sound like this that I've grown pretty bored with it. If you like gruff, mid tempo songs wrought with imagery of whisky bottles and deserts this might be for you.
I was smoking out back when Old Neck started their set, and from outside it sounded like AC/DC had gotten drunk and started jamming hardcore songs as a joke. I hesitantly went in after a few songs, and from within Pro Skates it definitely sounded a lot better. Fast and 80's sounding, and yet there was something a little too rock n' roll about it for me to get into it.
The Graboids ended the night with a handful of fast, shout-a-long, pop punk songs about cigarettes and girlfriends. They feature that guy on guitar who seems to be in every pop punk band in Halifax (Which is a good thing because all of his bands rule). I've only ever seen The Graboids at Rockin' 4 Dollars, and they definitely step it up when not at Reflections on a Monday night. Set highlight: Their lead singer disappeared from the stage and then rode back up on a skateboard whilst belting out the chorus.
This show was a benefit for guy named Chet who's come into some hard times, so I hope they were able to raise a good amount of money for him. No one seemed too connected or concerned with the cause, but none the less was in good spirits dancing, drinking beers, playing foosball, and gaffing out back. Win.