NXNE Review: Flaming Lips, The Deer Tracks, Life In Vacuum, June 16 (Yonge Dundas Square; Rivoli, Detour Bar)

It seemed that everyone’s plans changed Saturday night following the stage collapse at Downsview Park that resulted in Radiohead’s drumtech dying and several others being injured. So many other options for a Saturday night were at their fingertips, most notably Luminato and the NXNE shows that started earlier in the day at Yonge-Dundas Square.I arrived and caught the end of the of Montreal set. This was when I met up with several friends as well as several thousand strangers which made it slightly uncomfortable and at times claustrophobic. As well, it didn’t help that the Flaming Lips set started a half-hour late. I’m getting old. Balloons, confetti, ten-minute drawn out versions of crowd favourites, but a nice tribute/cover of Radiohead’s”Knives Out” though. A video of this can be found here. The Saturday night shows at Yonge-Dundas Square were filled with a mix of emotions because of what happened just a few hours prior. It was also filled with disorganization, cheesy MC-introductions, colourful bouncing balloons and just too many people. Most being people that had seemingly never been around other people before. Picture someone walking on the Tokyo subway on Monday morning with no shirt on and a hot pot of coffee.

Round two was to get out of there and make our way down Yonge and across Queen street. This allowed us to pass what seemed like several hundreds standing around staring at an empty stage with bright lights in preparation for the MMVAs the following night. People never fail to surprise me. By the time we made it to the Rivoli two-piece Swedish outfit The Deer Tracks were just finishing up.

I headed up to Kensington to catch Life in Vacuum at Detour Bar. Small, cramped and sadly no Kensington punks. Life in Vacuum (only one ‘c’) are a three-piece metal/punk band with groovey distorted bass. They’re from Waterloo and whenever I hear of bands from there I just assume they play math-rock which makes me a math-icist and I’m totally comfortable with this. Three white kids from the burbs that are passionate about their music. Loud and earplug-friendly. Great ‘stache on the bassist too.

Posted on by Brent in Everything, North By Northeast