NXNE '09 Friday Night (Photos and Reviews)
28-Jun-2009 11:30 pm
Contributed by: pete
As is almost always the case for me with festivals, I tend to be overly ambitious on the first night and then pare it back significantly for the next (and remaining) nights, and NXNE '09 was no exception. Despite my picks for Friday night, I decided to head to the El Mocambo to meet up with some friends and just stick there until late, at which point the plan was to move to Rancho Relaxo for a 3:00 AM set from Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few (he was excellent last time I saw him in January 2008).
Songs From A Room
Starting out the night (for me) at the El Mocambo was Songs From A Room. As you probably already know, I'm no stranger to their sound, and was content to see them plow through another set of excellent, ear-bending hard rock. Their 10 song set list contained five out of the six songs from their recent EP, including the awesome The Black That We Clad and Revival as the two closing songs. Sometimes it's good to start the night with something you're familiar with and already know you like, and Songs From A Room put me in the mood for more loud music.
Info: Songs From A Room | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Media: The Black That We Clad (mp3)
Probably the easiest way to describe Burning Brides is: loud. Really loud. Dmitri Coats (guitar, vocals) is so wild on stage that he's difficult to capture in a still photo. They were pretty amazing to watch, but without knowing their music, a lot of the songs blended into one another. Despite that, I didn't leave the stage because it was just too incredible to watch.
Info: Burning Brides | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Melissa Auf der Maur
Two things I knew about Melissa Auf der Maur before I saw her perform at the El Mocambo: She was the bassist for Hole for the latter half of the 90's, and she toured with The Smashing Pumpkins. Two things I didn't know about her: She is incredibly hot, and she is an experienced photographer. Auf der Maur is a musician with both conviction and passion, and in combination with her stature and edgy demeanor, it meant that I was pretty much consumed by the performance. Although not all songs were memorable, the delivery of her lyrics and 90's-influenced bass-heavy music succeeded in making me look forward to her new release scheduled for later this year. Plus, I may just have to hunt down her movie Out Of Our Minds that made it's debut during the film festival portion of NXNE. Best set of the night.
Info: Melissa Auf der Maur | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
I've heard many good things about The Sadies over the past few years, and yet this was the first time I've actually been out to see them. Great performers for sure, with some surprise reach-around guitar playing near the end that made for a great set. But, man, did they ever make me crave pizza for some reason, so next stop for the night was Massimo Pizza, just next to the Rancho Relaxo.
Info: The Sadies | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few
Massimo Pizza was so busy that they were serving slices as fast as they could make them. That meant waiting for a while, but was it ever worth it. If you're ever near Spadina & College and looking for something tasty, I can't recommend that pizza enough. So good. Anyway,
Mark Berube started his set at 3:00 AM to a good sized crowd at Rancho Relaxo, especially considering the time of night. The venue was licensed until 4:00 AM that night, so given that people were still out, Berube was given permission to continue playing until last call. Playing piano-based, indie-folk rock, he tells slightly odd stories through his lyrics in such a way that you get drawn in. It was definitely a cool way to close out the night, but as the clock closed in on closing time, the need to lie down overwhelmed me.
Next thing I remember, it was Saturday morning and I had a date with a hotel floor (next up, The Artist Sanctuary pre-MMVA all weekend party).
Info: Mark Berube | Connect: MySpace, Facebook