Sunday, June 17, 2012

NXNE At The Drake

This week the much anticipated North By Northeast Music and Film Festival finally arrived! Since my Toronto plans began developing, I had started researching pretty early on to see what was happening over the Summer in the city, and discovered this indie music festival. I kicked off NXNE on Wednesday night at The Drake with Gina and Vinny.

First up on the bill was Beliefs, which seemed to lack some energy to be honest. Nothing really stood out for us in the set from the local band, which was disappointing given that they had such a great slot to reach a diverse and captive audience.

Eternal Summers were next, and a band I had read a recommendation about that very afternoon. This American 3 piece pulled the growing crowd back with an engaging lead singer, and their indie pop sounds. For one track the drummer took over lead vocals, which was a completely different feel and sound for the band, and was a track that stood out.

The next act was a band neither of us would probably have sought out, and yet the Mac DeMarco set was the pick of the evening - stumbling upon new bands and sounds is the best part of a festival like this! This character with a gap in the front of his teeth arrived on stage with a hillbilly yokel style hat, saying y'all several times, had the crowd hanging on his every word within seconds.

Opening with I'm A Man, and introducing new a song about everyone else from home having babies and getting jobs as a policeman, and that he 'just rolls by', his lyrics and delivery was entertaining and amusing.

Mac DeMarco ended the set with a lap of the crowd, by just kind of rolling onto the stretched hands below, once he announced what he was doing. The most polite crowd surfing I have ever seen, he was carried through the front punters and back to the stage for the end of the track.

This was an act bound to gain some NXNE buzz and fill the rooms of the many sets he has booked across the festival. Definitely worth checking him out!

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