June 18th, 2010 – The evening began with the frustrating exercise of looking for parking on Queen St. West at 9:00 on a Friday night. Once I found a spot I rushed the three blocks to The Gladstone Hotel. My frantic arrival was counteracted by the chill setting of everyone sitting on the ground taking in Ghost Bees‘ first song. It was a really chill set; their haunting, yet peaceful tunes filled the room and held the attention of all, with the exception of a few chatty people by the bar. I don’t know how long I was there before I noticed that part of their scenery consisted of women wearing paint, and only paint. This was the first set I’ve seen at NXNE with such interesting/daring visual aspects. The soothing voices of Sari and Romy definitely helped me get over my complicated drive through the city.
Ghost Bees AND Timber Timbre? Remarkable. Seeing these two bands one after the other had a calming effect and helped me get through the rest of the night. I was standing next to the stage when Taylor Kirk started playing “Demon Host”; almost the entire crowd began to mouth the words. I wasn’t aware of Timber Timbre’s immense popularity, but it became quite clear last night. The Gladstone was filled to capacity and there were numerous people pressing their ears against the windows at the side. Both Timer Timbre and Ghost Bees played for about half an hour – I wish they had played longer.
Sadly, I left the classy Gladstone and headed down the street to The Drake Hotel. Don’t get me wrong, The Drake is pretty classy also, but the show was in the basement and the red floodlights hurt my eyes. I was just in time to see Boxer The Horse start their set. I had high hopes for this band because I’ve heard a few songs online and I liked their style. Unfortunately, they reminded me of a glorified garage band. There were good aspects though; great vocals, catchy songs, but for some reason I just felt like I was standing on the driveway looking in. They seem like good kids though, so give them a shot and check them out.
The band that came on after was called Burn Planetarium. They seemed like a tight enough band, and the crowd was enjoying themselves, but again, I just wasn’t feeling it. They were like an underachieving Tokyo Police Club. I don’t know if I was just too tired, or maybe they just weren’t my cup of tea, but I ended up leaving once I got the shots I needed. I can hardly blame my mood on the band though, because there were a lot of people there and everyone was having a good time. I would definitely give these guys a second chance if I happened upon their music again.
The last band I saw last night was We are Enfant Terrible, they came all the way from Paris, France, and this was their first time in Canada. I actually had a lot of fun at this show. By this time, I was feeling slightly ill, and extremely tired, but this band was so energetic. They remind me of White Stripes, but more French, and more female, and with a better drummer. I got a little carried away with my burst setting on my camera because P.Clo was all over the place and I didn’t want to miss a thing. There wasn’t a big crowd, but the people who were there were extremely happy that they stumbled upon this set.
Complaints aside, I’m lucky to have this opportunity to see so many great bands, and I have the day to rest, so tonight should be enjoyable.
–PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUCAS DECLAVASIO