That Time Fugazi Played Halifax in 1998

Fugazi live at the Olympic Bingo Hall in Halifax, NS (July 25th, 1998)

Last Wednesday, CKDU 88.1 FM‘s weekly punk blazon, Out of Voguecontinued their episodic interview series highlighting conversations with impactful contributors to the alternative Halifax music scene. The August 23rd guest was Ian Hart (AKA Ianvision) of Envision, Risky Business, Equation of State, and The Chitz — a HXC resume that is a crème de la crème of influential Halifax punk and hardcore.

In addition to his musical contributions, Hart also plays the hobbyist role of documentarian and hardcore historian with the Atlantic Canada Hardcore & Punk blog, as well as a vast digitized library of VHS tapes that includes the most sweeping video collection that you will ever find of the Halifax punk scene.

During the conversation with Hart on last week’s episode of Out of Vogue, a 1998 show at the Olympic Bingo Hall in Halifax was recalled, and this particular gig boasted a pretty legendary lineup. The July 25th, 1998 gig saw Hart’s Equation of State join revelled Haligonian post-hardcore quartet North of America in warming up a packed house for a much adored and anticipated visit from Washington, DC’s Fugazi.

Luckily, thanks to Hart’s meticulous Halifax punk footage catalogue, a near-complete video capture of one hour and thirty-five minutes of Fugazi’s set is available on YouTube:

Joe #1 – 0:35 And The Same – 4:03 Latin Roots – 8:28 Five Corporations – 11:49 Do You Like Me – 14:07 Reclamation – 16:57 Floating Boy – 20:52 Promises – 23:52 Smallpox Champion – 30:49 Break – 34:11 Place Position – 36:05 Song #1 – 38:50 Burning – 42:28 Waiting Room – 45:55 By You – 48:56 Recap Modotti – 52:44 Rend It – 56:32 Bed For The Scraping – 1:00:03 Arpeggiator – 1:04:58 F/D – 1:08:44 Pink Frosty – 1:10:44 Blueprint – 1:14:53 Great Cop – 1:19:29 Public Witness Program – 1:21:10 Closed Captioned – 1:23:24 No Surprise – 1:28:32 Long Division – 1:32:48

Thanks to Michael Emmerling in the YouTube comment section for the setlist.

Oh, and speaking of meticulous: remember a few years ago when Fugazi announced that they would be uploading live recordings of over 800 of their performances between 1987 and 2003? Well, most of those are available on the Dischord website, and the Halifax show is one of them. The full Fugazi Halifax set, recorded by Joey Picuri and mastered by Warren Russell-Smith, is available for digital download with a suggested price of $5, or on a sliding scale if you have “a different price in mind for this download”. Fugazi rates the audio quality of each live recording, and the Halifax gig is bolded as Very Good, which also falls on a sliding scale somewhere between accurate and understatement.

Oh, and the live recording on the Dischord website is accompanied by Ian MacKaye’s motel bill from the Lakelawn Motel in Yarmouth, NS.

Since Equation of State, North of America and Fugazi are mostly inactive bands, we’d like to focus our shout out to Out of Vogue, CKDU, Atlantic Canada Hardcore and Punk blog, and the Lakelawn Motel: an oblivious piece of Halifax punk history who are still quite active and still serving free continental breakfast.

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