A friend of mine had been raving to me about Joel Plaskett, and although
I'd never heard his music I decided to go to his September 17th concert. I
wasn't sure what to expect, and even thought I wouldn't really like it. But
my friend assured me I'd love it.
We arrived two hours after the doors opened to a packed bar. I knew the
band was popular in Halifax, seeing as Joel is a local celebrity, but I had
no idea it would be like this. It may have also had something to do with the
fact that a live DVD was being filmed that night too, but in either case, I
was impressed by the turnout.
The atmosphere was electric. People pushed their way as close to the stage
as possible, and we were lucky to get even a glimpse of the lead singer. I
immediately wished I had done some background research so I could sing along
to at least one song. His music is a mix of rock, alternative and sometimes
mellow tunes. I could see how people with many different tastes in music
would be drawn to this band, because there was something for everyone.
As the night went on, I realized one significant thing that I believe sets
Joel Plaskett apart from many Canadian bands: his obvious and purposeful way
of putting his roots into his music. I know of many singers who are proud of
where they come from, and often sing about home, but Joel sang song after
song about Halifax. From years ago as a struggling artist, to surviving
Hurricane Juan in September 2003, Joel keeps nothing from his music. I think
the fact that so many of his fans can relate creates a following unlike any
By the end of the night, after two encores, I was exhausted from just
watching Joel perform. He sang songs from all three of his albums, 'In Need
Of Medical Attention' (1999), 'Down At The Khyber' (2001) and his latest
from 2003, 'Truthfully, Truthfully'. He also included an accoustic set that
further showcased his variety of entertaining skills. He put so much energy
into the performance, and even though there were cameras swinging around the
stage the entire time, I don't doubt that he puts that much energy into all
of his concerts.
I left the bar as a new fan of the band, and with a t-shirt announcing
"another life changed by Joel Plaskett."
Writer: Jennifer Nichols