Photographs by Sarah Rix.
Half Moon Run have started making a name for themselves on Canadian rock stations like 102.1 The Edge and Indie 88.1. If their name doesn’t ring a bell, at least two or three of their songs have reached your ears this past year. They took the stage before City and Colour last night with a smoothly lit stage just full of ghostly bright lights. From the very start of their set, singer Devon Portielje was spastic and full of energy as he would frantically hop around the stage whilst strumming his guitar and flailing his hair. You can tell this band was excited to be playing for their biggest audience yet. Drummer Dylan Phillips expressed his appreciation a few songs in and he sounded like a kid on Christmas morning. They never let their enthusiasm affect their set, though, as they performed not as an opening band but as their own band.
As with City and Colour, the sound would get a bit mashed together which is unavoidable at the Air Canada Center. Either way, from the band’s part of the set, they played their instruments wonderfully with blistering solos, brooding rhythms and spectacular percussion. At times most of the band would be playing percussive instruments. Half Moon Run made the Air Canada Center feel a bit like a Cirque du Soleil without the acrobatics. There was just an ethereal tone to their set and it felt other worldly at times. The very last song, their newest single She Wants To Know, ended the show off with damningly red lights that turned the stage into a living dark room, and that surprising finally made their set even more memorable. It’s as if their dark silhouettes got imprinted in my mind. Their full set alone was one definitely worth noting, as this rising band from Montreal not only played their biggest show yet: They dominated it. When given enough time and given the same amount of space to work with, Half Moon Run will slowly become a large name in Canadian touring, mark my words.
Thanks to Live Nation Ontario & Audioblood for media access.