June 24th, 2014
We here at Much got no rest after this year’s MMVAs as the North By Northeast Festival kicked off its music portion the following week. So while we were still humming Ariana Grande’s Problem, we jetted off to various venues across Toronto to take in some of music’s most exciting new and established talents.
From free shows to super secret late-night guests, here were some of the most amazing things we saw last week. Did you participate in NXNE? Share with us some of the best shows you caught!
Camm Hunter on a streetcar
Down With Webster member Camm Hunter took centre stage, er streetcar, with a solo performance on one of the most interesting music venues we stepped foot in all week, the MiO Squirtcar. But there were luckily no speed bumps and shows went pretty smoothly as the public transit streetcar took fans from end to end of the city while being entertained by some great artists.
Beach Day in a gazebo
Florida band Beach Day didn’t get the chance to bring their ’60s surf-pop vibes to Toronto’s beachy shores, but a park gazebo was a pretty great substitute location. Guests laid out on the grass and caught some rays as the band, along with a number of other acts throughout the day, gave us a cool blast of sunsoaked riffs and catchy melodies.
Praise St. Vincent
Guitar hero St. Vincent headlined Friday night’s packed showcase at the Yonge-Dundas Square outdoor stage. As passersby picked up MiO liquid water enhancers to keep themselves hydrated, they took in a mind-blowing performance by indie-rocker St. Vincent who brought the most theatrical show to the festival. Her stage set-up included a set of stairs which the singer dramatically rolls down from mid-set as well as a number of super stylized dance moves that complete the utterly holy St. Vincent experience.
The secret Spoon show
Festival headliners Spoon played a secret show at the small Horseshoe Tavern on Friday night, giving fans a full set of old and new hits at 2 a.m. The band followed that up the following night with a big free show at Yonge-Dundas Square, but the opportunity to catch these veteran indie-rockers in an intimate space was definitely one of the highlights of the fest for us. #SpoonSwoon
tUnE-yArDs getting weird in Massey Hall
The iconic Massey Hall participated in NXNE for the first time this year, opening its doors to pass holders to enjoy three straight nights of solid headlining acts including artist tUnE-yArDs. Now if you’re not familiar with her and her grab bag of weirdness then prepare to wrap your head around this rhythmic playground of strange noises. Utilizing the space’s incredible acoustics, tUnE-yArDs transformed the venue into her own theatre wonderland that found percussions colliding with singer Merrill Garbus’ larger-than-life vocals. We highly recommend you hit play below and take in all of the weirdness.