Alright, It’s NXNE time. First night of NXNE is always quiet and this was no exception. Let’s take a look at some acts that we saw.
Foxtrott (10 pm, Mod Club)
A solo project from Montreal, Foxtrott did not let the sparse crowd at the Mod Club affect her show. Accompanied by another female on the French Horns, the two played a prolific set that introduced the crowd to Foxtrott’s blend of nostalgic dark electronic arrangements that serve as a backdrop to Marie-Hélène L. Delorme’s powerful vocals. The addition of the French horn live added an extra hint of pizazz to the show. I’m a sucker for this type of music and Foxtrott was no exception.
Mexican Slang (11 pm, Smiling Buddha)
Not sure why the Smiling Buddha is the home of so many shows this year, the sight lines in that place are horrible and I’m 6’1. The seeming destination for fans of the harder rock this year, I will admit I felt quite old walking into this place. Age issues aside, Toronto trio Mexican Slang played the exact type of rock that the tattooed youth of today have been concerning themselves with. Aggressive but catchy at the same time, Mexican Slang’s calling card in their psych-garage punk rock tunes is lead singer’s Annabelle Lee powerful voice. The set was over as quickly as it began, which left me wanting a bit more. I was only halfway through my beer. But I guess that’s how the old saying goes. This band has a song called Shit Destroyer. Need I say more?
Grand Splendid (Midnight, Baltic Avenue)
My entire goals for NXNE is to start out far and gradually make my way home. Wednesday night was a success as my last stop was at the Laser palace aka Baltic Avenue to check out Montreal band Grand Splendid. Sounding a bit like Teenage Fanclub, the band displayed some smooth harmonies and hooks during their set, which had a heavy dose of poppy, happy guitar rock. The band started off the set playing to a pretty empty crowd but with each track, more and more people moved up front. Pretty good confirmation that Grand Splendid is off to a good festival start.