Now that North by Northeast 2011 is over, it’s time to reflect over the good, the bad and the sweaty. Here’s a recap of what I experienced over those four days.
Saturday, June 18
I had an original plan of bands I wanted to see, but at this point I was exhausted and didn’t really feel like going somewhere that was too cramped with not as many friendly faces. I did manage to see Men Without Hats – purely for the Safety Dance of course, but the rest of the set was hilarious for them wearing hats, funny dance moves, clothing and more – as well as most of Devo’s set – surprisingly really awesome, colourful and also synched to whatever wildlife man movie was playing on the CityTV screen above – at Yonge and Dundas, so that was fun.
I hopped in a cab with some friends over to the Great Hall instead of going to the Comfort Zone for Topanga and Horseshoe for Jenn Grant (this was my big mistake). The Great Hall was a total disaster as there weren’t enough security guards to handle the mob that was tired fans wanting to see Braids and Chad VanGaalen. We managed to squeeze in for Braids, who sounded really great for a band who apparently had a very sick lead singer. But not in any mood to stay for Chad VanGaalen, someone who I respect but don’t know his material very well, I attempted to get to Bread and Circus on time for a band who I know would have ended my night warmly, Bent by Elephants. But alas, a streetcar never came and that was my second big mistake.
So unfortunately I didn’t end my NXNE on the best note, but overall this was one of the best festivals I’ve attended. I got to see a lot of bands that I wanted to see for a long time and was impressed by them, a favourite band unleash into exciting territory, a local band spice things up in a punk fashion, garage rock stars make out on stage, rock stars attending other rock stars’ shows, ‘80s hits and more.
I danced, I sweat, I made new friends, I made mistakes, I didn’t get much sleep, and that’s how a festival should be done.