June 19, 2010 – Faced with another frustrating attempt to find parking on Queen Street West, I squeezed into the tightest space possible right in front of The Legendary Horseshoe. The entire show was hosted by CBC and broadcasted worldwide via Sirius radio, so this was a great opportunity for our Canadian bands to be heard internationally. Library Voices, a band from Regina, got the night rolling. I had never heard of Library Voices and I figured, since they’re opening for a couple local acts and going on at 9:00pm, they’ll probably only be okay, but I was completely wrong – these guys killed it. Their upbeat rhythm had everyone moving and the Horseshoe, known for being on the warm side, was a sauna in no time. It’s kind of difficult to describe their music; they sound like The Weakerthans, but with more of a pop sound. All I know is that I checked out more of their music when I woke up this morning.
Hannah Georgas, or “Gorgeous” Hannah Georgas, as people seemed to be calling her, came on next. Her latest album “This is Good” has appeared on the long list for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. Hannah has a very sweet, yet powerful voice, and she has great control of it. Once again, the crowd was moving, bouncing, clapping, and dancing. It was only 10:30pm and I’m pretty sure The Horseshoe was already at capacity. After her set, I saw a number of people make a bee-line for the merch table, most of them returning with “This is Good” in hand.
So, I’m already pretty happy about being at The Horseshoe, then Bruce Peninsula comes on, and they keep the energy up and maintain the good vibes flowing through the building. It’s hard not to be exciting when your band consists of ten amazing musicians/vocalists all packed onto that little stage. Every song augmented the thrill of the moment. The last song they played was their popular tune, “Crabapples” – I didn’t know the song, but half the crowd seemed to. What could have possibly come on next to keep this night going as well as it was going?
Attack in Black. I’m going to go ahead and confess my man-crush for Daniel Romano. I’ve always wanted to see Attack in Black, and they exceeded my expectations. I’m pretty sure I only took about twenty photos because I just forgot what I was supposed to be doing. I highly recommend checking out Daniel’s side project Daniel, Fred, and Julie. If you’re a fan of Attack in Black’s latest album Years and you’re dying for a more roots/folk sound, you’ll love Daniel, Fred, and Julie.
Okay, so I have to leave Horseshoe and go to Wrong Bar. No problem. I just have to drive a couple blocks west on Queen – shouldn’t take long – maybe fifteen minutes? Nope, fifty. Good thing Les Savy Fav played until 2:30am. This was the longest and most outrageous set I’ve ever been to. How can I even describe it? There was a lot of toilet paper being wrapped around a very damp body (not a pretty picture), repetitive man-on-man kissing involving ice, nipple licking, and a lot of sweat. It was only slightly out of control. It was quite the spectacle, and…I’m glad I got to experience it? Maybe? They definitely put on a show, and the crowd loved them, so it was a successful fourth night at NXNE.
–PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUCAS DECLAVASIO