NXNE Weekend Recap



NXNE Weekend Recap

Early summer's flagship music festival has come and gone. We were there to tell you what you should've seen, and what you were better off missing.

Fat as Fuck – M is for Manning, June 19.
Despite being called “Fat as Fuck,” none of the members of the seven-member band were noticeably big-boned. Playing the backyard of de-facto festival venue 159 Manning, the ska-punk group owned the stage with their brass instruments and occasional references to crack cocaine. With two guys on sax, two on guitar, one on keyboard, one on trumpet, and another on drums, the upbeat and hilariously fun performance left the audience invigorated and yearning for more. – Sarah Duong

Odonis Odonis – Garrison Hotel, June 19.
Odonis Odonis is a mixture of Fidlar and With Teeth–era Nine Inch Nails without the hype. Despite having stellar taste in music (their albums are pretty sweet), heavy distortion, bad sound quality, and their overall lackadaisical attempt at engaging the audience led to one very empty and heartless performance. Stay away from the pretentious lead singer, who was rude and abrasive despite not being popular enough to have his own Wikipedia page. – Sarah Duong

Chastity Belt – Smiling Buddha, June 20.
These Seattle rockers had the Smiling Buddha, one of the smaller and furthest-west NXNE venues, totally rammed for the second show of their Toronto debut. As they had the previous night at the ‘Shoe, the four women opened with “Drone,” a rager that tackles mansplaining (“He was just another man trying to teach me something”) to Riot Grrrl effect. They then ploughed through a tight set until the final song, which closed out with a satisfying series of jammed-out guitar solos. – Steve Fisher
Fucked Up – Adelaide Hall, June 21.
The last-announced NXNE act of 2015 to play Adelaide Hall, Deafheaven had an enthusiastic crowd moshing and crowdsurfing to their intense quiet-to-crescendo black metal rev-ups, but it was local punk metal home heroes Fucked Up, as the night’s secret guests, who closed the night off with a joyful and loud bang. Frontman Damien Abraham recently had another kid (and quipped that he’d been up even later the night before, dealing with diapers), but he and the band were indefatigable as they delighted the home crowd, many of whom finished lines to songs when Abraham gleefully thrust the mic into the front row. And no slight to Deafheaven, but the crowd in the mosh pit was definitely more diverse for Fucked Up, with women and people of colour expanding a mosh pit that had been almost entirely white dudes for the previous act. – Steve Fisher

Jazz Cartier – Danforth Music Hall, June 20.
Despite losing his voice, to say that Jazz Cartier put on a show would be an understatement. The artist most representative of the local hip-hop scene post-Drake blew onto the stage spraying water into the crowd. After apologizing for his voice sounded so raw—thanks to an earlier performance—Jazz put it down, throwing up trippy background screen visuals (Toronto G20 footage, homegrown music videos, and random death scenes from the Final Destination film series for a touch of WTF), cuts from his debut Marauding in Paradise in addition to new material, and overall showing us why he’s earned “one to watch”  designation. He’s got the new-school rap vibe, the swagger, and the potential to play even bigger spots in the near future. – Ryan B. Patrick

Ty Dolla $ign – Yonge-Dundas Square, June 21.
Ty Dolla $ign came on stage with with one goal: to get the crowd turnt up. In between the giant fog jets, taking off his shirt and running into the crowd, inviting 15 women on stage to dance with him and tossing middle-finger-sized joints into the crowd, we’d say he succeeded. – Chris Dart

Shad – Yonge-Dundas Square, June 21.
Shad may well be Canada’s most entertaining live MC. He somehow manages to put on a high-energy stage show without ever dropping the ball on his alarmingly dense bars. Before he went on stage, it was pretty clear that the bulk of the folks there to see Ty Dolla $ign weren’t totally sure who Shad was; the ones who stayed were almost certainly turned into fans. – Chris Dart

Obliterations – Lee’s Palace, June 20.
Obliterations are loud and fast and moderately terrifying, with vocals like a tortured demon scream and a metric tonne of guitars that sound like buzzsaws on amphetamines. It seemed like they managed to fit about 30 songs into their 40-minute set. So basically, they’re everything you’d ever want in a hardcore band. – Chris Dart

Mission of Burma – Lee’s Palace, June 20.
Thirty-six years after first forming, and 13 years after reuniting, Mission of Burma are a finely tuned, perfectly timed machine designed to look like they’re always on the verge of falling into total chaos. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, and it’s amazing that, after all this time, these guys haven’t lost an ounce of the fury that made them so engaging in the first place. – Chris Dart


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