What NXNE Press Guide said about Crosss:
Crosss make psychedelic metal and futurist grunge. They put out their lauded debut, ‘Obsidian Spectre’, in 2013 and have undergone a lineup change in the two years since. Of their output, AUX wrote: “Crosss may recite classic stone-rock rituals, but their songs are also defined by repetitious, druidic chanting – it feels like a near-religious experience, which is no accident.” Exclaim! also got on the bandwagon, offering: “Crosss is a stoic band but the music speaks volumes – a LOT of volume, to be precise.”
Despite the Garrison having sound trouble for what seemed to be the entire festival weekend, Crosss delivered a pretty tight set without any technical issues. Clocking in at about twenty-five minutes, they played a slow but aggressive type of dark post-punk metal chock full of minor chords and muffled lyrics. It was by far the loudest show of the festival for me which reminded me to not forget my ear plugs for Friday.
What NXNE Press Guide said about Bishop Nehru:
He may be just 18 years of age, but Bishop Nehru’s talent clearly speaks for itself and has already drawn praise from hip hop’s thought leaders. Case in point: Kendrick Lamar gave the young New York MC props. Nehru’s ability to write cold flows for viral consumption has made him a fast-riser in a busy scene. Along the way, he’s remixed Iggy Azalea and worked with English electronic trendsetters Disclosure. Joining the flanks of Joey Bada$$ in the 90’s boom-bap revitalization, Nehru’s sights are already on broader things, too – citing an appreciation for all kinds of music and the ambition to one day drop his own jazz release.
The beauty of taking your bike out to NXNE is that you can glide from show to show in a few dangerous minutes and not miss a beat. Almost every band starts at the top of the hour and it helps that the volunteers are pretty good at keeping bands to their proper set times. I could get from the Handlebar in Kensington to the Drake in no time to hang with the cool kids and check out an 18-year-old kid getting praise from many big names like the Wu Tang Clan and Nas.
Even though the room was pretty packed, Bishop Nehru was having a difficult time hyping the low energy crowd. While at the back I can only guess that I was standing beside his family members who were being polite but clearly ready to go to bed. My favourite song was Darkness with the following lyrics: “This life is like a mystery, look how the world’s sent to me. Today I’m in the industry, next I’m ended -history“.
What NXNE Press Guide said about Tenderness:
Tenderness is a lady who lives and makes music in Toronto. She loves mystery but dislikes biographies about her music project because she is usually the one writing them. Isn’t it kind of weird to speak about yourself in the third person? In her perfect world there would be no social media, music videos, or biographies written about anybody until they were dead. In a perfect world music would speak for itself. Heavvvvvyyyy, but for real.
My next show was north to College at the Smiling Buddha for a small and intimate show by solo electronic vocalist Tenderness. By far the most interesting and eclectic performer of the festival with an abundance of talent. She layered her smooth soulful voice with varying thumping beats all while various projections played in the background. Unfortunate that it was at such a small venue as she could have easily played a larger venue and still made it intimate. Hopefully this will be the case next year.