Monday, June 18, 2012

NXNE on Thursday and Friday Nights

For NXNE I purchased an all access wristband for $50, which meant that I had a full ticket to all music gigs and films across town, capacity permitting. With 780 bands playing across the week, there was much plotting, and researching of bands and locations of venues, and tossing up a schedule for each night.

On Thursday night, after a film, I headed to Cameron House for a couple of Aussie acts on the festival line up. When I got there the front room, which I thought was all there was, was pretty empty as I got a beer and took a seat. I listened as an act started to set up, and was disappointed at my choice of band and venue, which had been a toss up with another at the same time down the road. I soon figured out, however, that there was a backroom, aka the bandroom, where REYNE were just starting.

A couple of Aussie lads with guitars and tunes in their heads, telling tales of picking up in the hostels of Toronto...I still kinda wished I went to the other gig! Ha!

The 20 minute window of time between bands the city over, I made the trek from one end of Queen Street West to the other and The Great Hall. Hindered somewhat by trackworks on this particular night, I still made it in time.

My next gig choice was to check out my housemate's band, Spookey Ruben. A massive venue, the small gathered crowd didn't really fill it, which did not allow the detail of the tracks carry as it could have at a smaller venue. Spookey and the band played Wendy McDonald and Dizzy Playground, as well as When You Fall In Love With Someone Who's In Love With Someone Else and a host of others through the set you could see the band was putting their all into.

My fourth planned gig of this night was up at The Garrison, but alas when I got there there was a massive line that was not moving, and so the pull to go home to bed on a school night won!

On Friday after work, I met Kylie and Meg for dinner at Supermarket, and could hear the background music of the NXNE gig playing in the back bandroom. The food was impressive, an Asian tapas style menu, and the music sounded like a band I should have checked out.

Alas, as planned I took the streetcar down to The Garrison to check out Art vs. Science. Oddly I haven't seen these Aussie lads live before, and was totally energised and amused by their stage presence and crowd engagement. Decked out in crazy silver space suits, the boys were each behind a combination of keys and mics, and pumped out fun and dancey tracks complete with moves and actions!

Setting up Parlez Vous Francais, I wonder how many times they have asked that of a crowd where there is a high chance a large proportion actually do!? As they encouraged the room to get involved, I heard some locals giggle and comment at the Aussie pronunciation of Toronto. The newer Flippers was also a massive track of the night.

The next band was the reason I had made my way to this venue, however the electro-pop sampling of Doldrums didn't really grab me, and I called it a night and made the trek home again in the wee hours, enlivened by the choices and vastness of live music on offer.

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