The second night begins

The weather wasn't in my favour for night 2 of bar hopping.

The biggest rainstorm ever decided to land upon Toronto around 10pm… Now, I love rain and I quite enjoyed running through it and jumping over puddles but it made for a quite uncomfortable evening in wet clothes at times. But, what can you do. Music was to be seen, and the rain was not going to stop me!

Rich Aucoin was playing at a venue down the street from where I live so I decided to swing by. Last time I saw this handsome East coaster he was dressed as Santa Claus and projected The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on a white sheet while he played. He wrote an EP that synched up to the cartoon, which sent bloggers across Canada into a coma. This time was not as exciting. He did one song with the Grinch playing but the rest he had projected clips from black and white movies that you couldn't really make out. He had a small band of two on stage with him this time and they were all dressed in white. His synth heavy pop music was catchy and his deep wholesome voice is memorable. He stood behind a keyboard and a smaller synth, as well as a microphone, and a vocoder. He switched from side to side. While the drummer played alongside a drum machine (that was sometimes louder than the drums) and the other sideman seemed to do nothing at all. He was awkwardly playing the tambourine, singing back up vocals sometimes, or leaping into the audience with sparkly things to throw. I feel he could have been giving more to the whole musical performance if he was playing one of the instruments that were tracked. But then again, electronic music has allowed us to play in bands where you actually don't have to play much. It sounded great but didn't blow me away.

Then through the rain we somehow made it down to Queen St. to the Rivoli. When we got in there the Blood Lines from Saskatchewan were playing their catchy Americanized rock… and I instantly wanted to leave. They were dressed like the Killers and there was a girl in the band who was wearing some sort of figure skating apparel and she stood there smiled and looked pretty/fake behind her keyboard. The songs were tacky and after two of them I bolted for the door.

Luckily The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern is mere steps away from the Rivoli and Eric's Trip founding member, Julie Doiron was performing some of her solo songs to a packed room. So I slid in happily and swayed to her cute acoustic folk jams. She usually has some namely people on stage with her, but I couldn't really see what her backing band was made up of from the back of the room. I enjoyed the songs though and her delicate voice reminded me of fellow Canadian Laura Barrett (of the Hidden Cameras), who's set I missed this year.

Now it was the time of the evening I had been waiting for! Back over to the Rivoli I went to see Barrie, Ontario's Fox Jaws infuse the too-small venue with their gorgeous post-rock folk blends. Now, you see, I am from Barrie and I've seen Fox Jaws many a time but every single time I am surprised by how amazing they are. Every single time I'm just blown away. I will never miss one of their sets by choice. Front man Daniel Allen started off the set by bowing on his guitar for a new song I had never heard before roaring into some of their catchiest and most well known songs off of their stunning debut album, *Goodbye Doris*. Drummer Brandyn Aikins is probably the most precise drummer I've ever seen. He makes it look so simple to drum a mile a minute and change tempos drastically never missing a beat. The one who stole most of the guys in the rooms hearts is front women Carleigh Aikins (Brandyn's sister).

Her voice is like none you've heard before. She wails like a young Janis Joplin with more heart and frantically dances around the stage with tambourines and maracas. The band as a whole is an entity all of their own. Each song provokes entirely different comparisons, so it's best not to try and make connections but just relax with the idea that… they are what they are: incredible.

That was the end of my evening. I figured I better get home and not divulge in a 2 am set this time as I had to work at 8 the next morning. So I dashed home in the rain and somehow peeled myself out of bed in the morning.

Read our report from the final night of NXNE here!


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