[Just to clarify, that photo above was taken on the last day of NXNE when I decided to celebrate with a fried chicken dinner on a rooftop because if you had gone out that many nights in a row, you'd need some fried goodness to congratulate yourself for that many hours of human interaction too. So yes, I swear I saw bands -- more on that below!]
North By Northeast is my favourite time of the year (suck it, Christmas): free BBQs, constantly running into the best of friends and of course the incredible music.
This festival takes you through so many emotions and feelings, as I’m sure human interaction does to one person. Again, did I mention I spend most of my nights eating dinner alone in bed and watching Food Network re-runs? But with every performance, you can leave feeling a different way. That, or my hormones are completely fucked.
Anyway, I will now illustrate my NXNE experience the only way I know how to: through the power of GIFs.
Weaves @ Massey Hall
I had described Weaves’ set, opening for tUnE-yArDs, at Massey Hall as a giant beast tumbling through the elegant, historic theatre space, but I meant that as the biggest of compliments. The band’s sound is clearly so big and, for lack of a better word, so strange, that there’s a bit of oddness to seeing them in such a pristine venue, but when they laid into their songs, they boomed through the space like a monster and as an acquaintance of the Toronto band, I must say I was mighty proud of them.
tUnE-yArDs @ Massey Hall
One big, massive percussion dance party, which are the best kinds of dance parties. One of the best shows I caught at NXNE.
St. Vincent @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Seeing St. Vincent is more or less a religious experience wherein Annie Clark performs a sermon of guitar hero proportions. When she stands atop of flight of stairs and stomps down on the beat of “Cheerleader,” you almost feel your knees buckling down. Bow down to the church of St. Vincent!
Spoon @ Horseshoe
I totally thought I was going to be forced to see Spoon play the claustrophobic Yonge-Dundas Square, but instead, I got to see my ultimate white-guy-indie-rock* crush Spoon play the equally claustrophobic Horseshoe Tavern on the night of my birthday. NXNE, the festival that gives the best birthday gifts ever. (* It’s just the truth. Plus, it’s one of my favourite genres.)
Beach Day @ St. James Park
A park is almost like a beach, right?
Future Islands @ Tattoo
Duh, this is the only GIF to describe the show.