NXNE Day 1: ATTAGIRL, Nick Faye, The Darcys & Jane’s Party
ATTAGIRL @ May
I first saw Attagirl a couple years ago at a showcase they did with a band I used to rep. I always look forward to catching a set of theirs. They always seem to play with such ease and the harmonics between bass lines and guitar riffs compliment their vocal harmonies as well. As a three piece they do a great job with creating such an intricate sound that it never seems empty or lacking. They create such a relaxed atmosphere which was a nice way to ease myself into the fest. This was an early show – 7pm, on my first night of NXNE at a relatively unknown venue. I wish these guys had a better time/place; it may have resulted in a larger, more interactive crowd. A few of the audience members seemed to dig the set, but because of the ‘forced’ seating (only option) they had no other choice but to be calm and reserved with their appreciation.
Nick Faye and The Deputies @ The Dakota Tavern
This guy was hilarious and extremely musically talented. Hailing from Regina, his band was too broke to join him on his trip to Toronto for North By but he came and held the humble audience in the palm of his hand while he sang. I have a soft spot for this truly beautiful venue. Plus the lack of cell reception down there forces me to really pay attention (or y’know drink if I’m bored). No drinks necessary for me to enjoy Nick Faye. John Nayer joined him on stage after the first couple songs, and the banter they shared was incredibly endearing as well as humorous. Folk/country is hard for me to get into, I really have to be in the proper mind-set, but something about the way Faye confidently and intricately finger picked definitely caught my attention.
Such a rad set-up! Sure, as soon as you walk into this pop-up venue, you’re smacked in the face with original swag to help Arts and Crafts celebrate their 10 year anniversary, but as you venture in further you see a beautiful collection of photos and portraits that showcase the many talented artists that A and C have been representing. Pictures of Broken Social Scene, Metric, Wildlife, we’re strewn across the walls, as well as old concert posters and albums behind the bar.
The Darcys are no strangers to The Take, but, I am almost afraid to admit that this is my first time seeing them live. Quite an elaborate set-up for these dudes. Their dream-rock sounds mixed with a rhythm section that lives in the off-beat fit the setting of this series very well. These guys just sweat confidence during their somewhat artistic and whimsical performance. Melodic keys carried along by distorted rock guitar is a parallel that these guys own. Their drummer is one of the best percussionists I’ve seen in a while, breaking up beats in such a solid yet erratic beat.
Jane’s Party are also friends of The Take; and I’m not going to lie, I’m a huge fan. Most of their set was made up of songs off their new album, Hot Noise. As always they each took turns at each instrument, and played songs that were easy to dance to and fall in love with. These guys are single-handedly redefining pop-rock and making it accessible for the hard to impress crowds of Toronto.