Sunday, June 19, 2011

NXNE: Day 3

Night 3... always the night which becomes so difficult to dive into.  You've had your warm up, you hit it hard on night 2 and suddenly you realize you've saved nothing for the end.  However, night 3 also ends up being the greatest night of music you've ever seen.

I spent the day playing volleyball at the beaches, sitting in a hot tub sipping beer and eating BBQ, so it would be difficult to say that I wasn't already in a decent state of mind.  But however strong the lull of sitting on my patio was, we made the move out the door just before 9.

Bovine was the first stop where I, after following them for almost a year, saw Hot Kid for the very first time live.  The energy brought to that stage was unsurpassed at the festival.  There's putting it all out there and then there is what Shiloh and Robbie from Hot Kid left on the stage.  An absolute terror of a two piece, HK droned through the PA system like electronic exorcism.  However, I do need to profess that my mind was feeling lazy and their abrasive sound, while impressive, wasn't exactly what I was looking for at that moment.  Right then and there, I wanted my music spoon fed to me.

The Hideout was next and we caught the tail end of a set by The Goodluck Assembly.  In stark contrast to the last set, this was a band who normally, I would get a bit bored at.  Still, in my lazy ways, I found myself drawn to their ambient, heavily layered, polished sound.  That said, I only caught the last two songs, so who knows if they would have stood the test of time, grown on me, or just simmered somewhere in the middle.

At 10pm, I finally had my NXNE experience: a complete unknown to me stepped out on the stage and blew my mind.  Little Foot Long Foot is a Toronto band which has been hiding in plain sight under my nose and I've been oblivious to their grimey, bluesy, bigass sound.  A three piece of guitar, drums and keys, this band finds a way to make intricate riffs and layers (thanks to the keys... a nice change from bass) into such earthy, simple, drawing tunes.  Then I found out that Ian Blurton produced them, and suddenly everything made sense.  I should really just follow what he's been working on whenever I'm looking for new music, because awesome people are just drawn to the man.

And of course, directly beside my dark horse award, we have my vote for best set of the festival, Mr. Jordan Cook.  If you've followed this blog at all, you know that Jordan is a personal idol of mine and last night was only the 2nd time I've seen him live (come east more often!).  I, perhaps foolishly, called out that Jordan would be the best thing to happen at NXNE to my comrades and as a testament to this man's incredible guitar playing, grimey voice and deity-like stage presence, every person I was with last night agreed unequivocally.

As though his set couldn't get any better, with around 3 songs left, the dancer made her annual appearance.  Last year, while watching a great Dutch band, De Staat, a woman began to stretch before launching into one of the most practiced stripper dances I have ever seen, directly in front of the stage.  Iain and I began to consider this woman myth, or a figment of our drunken imaginations, however, last night, she was back, just for Jordan.

At that point, I could have called my night a success and gone home.  But, we were all loosened up and figured that if it was the last night, we might as well make it a good one.  We crawled up to the Elmo to catch the bulk of The Coppertone's set.  I fell in love with this band when I saw them play a Steamwhistle Unsigned show back in the winter.  However, the world suddenly had the potential to implode as I had now witnessed two blues rock bands fronted by beautiful redheaded women of eerie power.  While Coppertone put on an amazing set which I positively loved, my mind couldn't help but drift back to Little Foot Long Foot, who gave so much more for the audience to lap up.  Maybe it was the venue size, maybe it was the crowd.  Either way, rock had been rolled.

Everyone looked like they needed a cigarette after sex, so we decided to take a quick break and get some nosh at Red Room.  Platters of cheap deep fried tofu and noodles later, the bulk of our entourage decided to answer the call home.  However, Blesch convinced me that we still had 1 more band in us.  So, we went up to the Silver Dollar for one last hurrah.

Here, we caught most of the set of a crazy little band from Nashville called Bad Cop.  They were energetic, they were rocking, they were borderline psychotic and for the first few songs, this band really grabbed me.  However, we ended up not sticking for the whole set since after a while, that zany, intense energy began to come off a bit false.  At one point, it felt more like the band was being weird for the cameras then for themselves.  Once again, great music... I just wish that's what the band had been focusing on.

And then... it was bed time.  I need breakfast, so I won't be concluding NXNE here... I've got a bit of a summary in mind for tomorrow which includes some good, and a bit of bad which needs to be aired.

Until then, give me bacon, or give me death.