Saturday, June 18, 2011

NXNE: Day 2

So apparently I scuffed somebody's pumas in the mosh pit on Thursday, because some people sure seemed to be upset with me.  As such, today we're going to take a different approach to reviewing last night by invoking mother's law: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all (though my blog hasn't seen this much action in 4 years... I think we're up to a whole 10 readers!).

We were 6 strong to start the night and had one goal in mind: absolute personal destruction.

We walked through the doors of Sneaks at 8pm to see Sandman Viper Command.  I first learned of these boys at a random, somewhat secret, nacho, rooftop party at last year's NXNE.  They were one of my finds of the festival.  This year, they put on an incredibly tight set, but there was something odd about seeing them when the sun was still up.  Odder still was the fact that Ben bought Jager shots when the sun was still up.  That's more of an apertif in my mind.

After SVP, we had no real agenda aside from C'Mon at the shoe at 11, so the wandering began.  We poked our heads into Comfort Zone around 9.  There we saw a band called The Young Things... another band from NY.  They were trying to pull of a bit of a surf rock revival thing.  Their drummer marched to a different beat... and good for him.  Their lyrics really struck a chord with me, obviously aimed at the hard working everyman, "I've got a case of the Mondays".  And they wore interesting coloured pants... see I even took a picture:

Through a scheduling conflict, we didn't quite make their whole set.  We quickly skipped down to the Elmo to see what else we could catch before 10.  Upstairs was a band called Modern Boys Modern Girls, which they self label their sound as 'garage soul rock n roll'.  I agree that they, as mortal individuals, all likely have souls, unless you don't believe in that sort of thing.  Still I can guarantee at some point, they have all been in a garage.  I got a slight case of vertigo from being on the 2nd floor, so then we moved downstairs.

Fuck Montreal... I have absolutely nothing to say about this band.

Disheartened (not from the bands... just generally of course), we took to the streets and did a bit of wandering.  At this point, the booze had been flowing nicely, we'd somehow grown a 7th member, and the fresh air did us some good.  We gravitated towards The Hideout, since nothing ever goes wrong there.

Enter the Polymorphines.  These boys came down from Ottawa to play some good 'ol swaggering rock 'n roll.  I'm not going to say it was the most original band I've ever heard (not that that's a bad thing) but they were tight, they put a lot of energy into their set and generally had fun on stage.  This was a harder task than you think since the place was empty and the crowd was ABSOLUTELY DEAD.  However, I digress, this is a much larger issue which I intend to tackle in a far more verbose rant once this festival is all over.

Off to the 'shoe, C'Mon for the earholes.  This set reminded me of two important facts: I fucking love C'Mon and I fucking hate the Horseshoe.  The shoe is a black hole of energy that fills with scenesters and industry-types and proceeds to suck the life out of everyone and everything that dares to move... not that that's a bad thing.  Even Sir Ian was disappointed with the crowd, as well as quite fucked up on something.  However, ever the professional, he still churned out one of the most incredible sets of the festival, and dove into the crowd to play an extended solo in the middle of hundreds of people while tuning his guitar all over the place.

Set ends, free rum, I was in a photoshoot, almost sneezed all over the guitarist from Billy Talent, and we were off to the Bovine!  Cunter was there, representing both the bands Alexisonfire and Moneen.  After having a rough start to the night, this band was exactly what we needed to get back on track.  Playing 30-45 second songs in rapid succession, this throwback to the Bad Brains era was insane enough to even get a Toronto crowd moshing like it was the apocalypse.  Observe:

I then walked out onto the street, for some reason alone, and this passed me by, reminding me why even through all the bullshit, NXNE can still be a good time:

At this point, I'd be lying if I said I was sober enough to write objectively about what we saw. I was in Velvet Underground, back in Sneaks, back in Comfort Zone and ended up at Elmo again, but most of those 2 or 3 hours are a haze. Thank you to Sandman Viper Command, C'Mon, Cunter and the random umpa band for making my night awesome. To everyone else, thanks for coming out.