Final night of the NXNE showcase...

For the last night of the festival it looked like everyone in Toronto and their mothers were out for a showcase.

Line ups took over side walks. Lucky for me and all of you, my "priority pass" prevented me from spending most of my night outside of the bars, rather than inside with the music.

My first stop was the Horseshoe. I got there in the midst of Spiral Beach's crazy set. These kids are defiantly fun but I really don't get what all the fuss is about. Their music is recycled and borderline headache inducing. Live they wear crazy outfits and over use the art of group chants and handclaps. Toronto is their home city so the room was filled with eager fans. Me not being one of them, decided to jump over to the Rivoli for a quick second to see what was happening there.

I walked in just to see Matthew Barber wrap up what I assume was a rather romantic heart warming set. I've always been pretty bored of his recordings but live his acoustic songs seemed coloured with twang! My favourite! Along the lines of Jason Collett, Matthew sang sad hopeful songs to a full room that was biting on their lips and had their eyes glued open. The harmonica flourishes added to the folky vibe and I decided I would perhaps give his recordings another chance. Perhaps.

I skipped back over to the Shoe to see a band that I'd been hearing about a bunch, Hey Rosetta! Hearing them play, their home on a major label didn't seem so surprising. But that isn't entirely a bad thing. They played melodic rock with strings galore! Front man Tim Baker really ran the show as he leaped from guitar to keys while sweating buckets and singing his heart out. It gave you the idea he wrote most of these songs and they take on some emotional meaning to him. So much energy was pouring off the stage it was hard to not get excited. But when you actually sit back and listen to the way their songs are made up, you might (maybe, just maybe) realize there's not much to them. Pretty basic ideas. Live however, they sweep you off your feet with their noisy chaotic assault –so you probably won't even notice. The violinist and cellist on stage made the sound of these anthem-esque songs so big and bright, it was a joy to watch.

After moshing our way out of the sweaty and packed bar we walked north. Probably the BIGGEST NXNE buzz belonged to a band from Tel Aviv, Isreal: Monotonix. They played this weekend probably 4 or 5 times and everyone couldn't stop talking about them. I decided it was my duty to catch them and as it was the last night of the festival… it was now or never. So to Sneaky Dees we trekked and were greeted with another monstrous line up of eager and frustrated festival-goers. Inside the capacity venue was a smelly mash up of different body odours… and it was only about to get worse. Monotonix set up in the center of the room completely disregarding the stage and in a Lightning Bolt-esque rage they went completely and utterly apeshit. The crowd surrounded the vocalist, drummer, and guitar player (who were all significantly hairy and naked). The set started when you saw vocalist Ami Shalev hanging from the pipes on the ceiling like a monkey on drugs. He proceeded to crawl on everyone's faces with this mad look in his eyes like he had to get somewhere, he had to do something. At one point he dumped a garbage bin on the drummers head and started drumming on it. Before you could wrap your head around that, the guitarist was crowd surfing while playing. Next to be seen in the air was the drummer. While drumming. Someone was holding up a cymbal for him to smash and somehow a piece of his drums were up there with him - so he could continue thrashing while on top of everyone's heads. Complete chaos. At one point the floor was jumping with everyone, I was sure this was not a safe idea. I also was sure Shalev hanging from the pipes could have resulted in a messy situation, although really wouldn't have mattered at this point. If this isn't rock and roll, than I don't know what is. The most rock and roll thing of it all is that their music was crap. Dirty garage psycho rock that I would hate if I sat down to listen to on album, but mixed with the extreme debauchery that made up their set – turns out to be rather brilliant. SO MUCH FUN!

Anything else I saw that night was just mediocre compared to the Monotonix set I survived through. I ended my night on that note and decided it was time for NXNE to come to a close –at least for my tired eyes.

Thank you for following me around for the past few days! Be sure to check out some of these bands. NXNE has done it again!


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