Single Mothers The Seahorse, Halifax NS, October 21

Single Mothers The Seahorse, Halifax NS, October 21
Photo: Ali Seglins
"This song is called 'Don't Stage Dive,'" snarled Single Mothers' vocalist Drew Thompson.

The song wasn't actually called "Don't Stage Dive," of course. Thompson was just cheekily doing his frontman duty to communicate the Seahorse bouncers' public service announcement. Never mind that his band's songs, drawn largely from their full-length debut Negative Qualities (released this month), are basically the audio equivalent of "Please Stage Dive" — or, at the very least, an invitation to throw a few fists in the air. (It suffices to say, Thompson's PSA went largely unheeded.)

This was the London, ON punkers' first time to Halifax, but they had a good sense of their crowd. ("This song is about Ontario," yelled Thompson. "Fuck Ontario!") The fact that Thompson is missing a tooth only adds to his almost childish sense of play: there's menace, but never any real danger, and it's always undercut with a smirk. Even at his most intense, he pulls back and has a laugh. That comes through in his lyrics as well, which sadly got buried in the vocal mix somewhat. Without their distinctiveness, the set's material had a certain sameness, offset by a high energy crowd and the band's rampant enthusiasm. Heads were banged, concertgoers moshed and, yes, stages were dived from.