An eclectic and electric Saturday for NXNE
An annually held tribute to the work done over the past year, the studio invites fans and delegates alike into their backyard, literally, for a BBQ and social scene of beers, bands, and brushing shoulders.
To liven up the party, they brought in Public Animal, back with original singer and guitarist Ian Blurton, this was the last of three sets for them at NXNE.
A brazen band of new and beastly rock’n’roll, they kept the crowd moving the entire time of their prevening set at the BBQ.Blurton, although originally from Chicago, has been a staple in Toronto indie music since the 80s, playing in such bands as Change of Heart.Saturday night held an exciting lineup for Yonge-Dundas Square, the hot spot for most big name bands playing NXNE.
The night opened up with Teenage Kicks, then on came Millencolin, the worldly punk rock band from Sweden that has made their name know in the skateboarding and youth music scenes over the last two decades.
Lead singer of Millencolin, Nikola Sarcevic had earlier in the week played a solo acoustic set at S.C.E.N.E Fest in St. Catharines on June 9, but rejoined his band mates in Toronto to give fans in Ontario the full Millencolin experience.The Square was packed from corner to corner and overflowing into the street for everyone to see their high-school favourite (I know they were one of mine back in the day.)
Fans rejoiced and basked in the punk aura created at YDS with moshing and crowd surfing, and showed no signs of wear and tear from the previous night’s show from Social Distortion, one can only assume the crowd would’ve have been very similar for two classic punk giants.Millencolin was followed up by Canadian metalcore band affectionately known to the world as Billy Talent. A group that has showed no signs of slowing down, or ever changing the style of their music, fans have stayed loyal and true to their music, much like the band has.Unlike most bands that evolve and change over the years, they simply kept ameliorating their sound and trying new musical tactics within it. Billy Talent has stuck to their roots of original lightning licks from Ian D’Sa, and piercing screams from Ben Kowalewicz, that make the band completely and unmistakably identifiable from any other band in their genre.
Hard to believe they’ve already got 20 years under their belt this year, and with a new album in the works to follow up their 2012 success Dead Silence, with incessant tours scheduled, they are still showing no signs of slowing down.Although they’ve come a long way from their Toronto roots, they arguably always play their best shows at home, due to their love for the city that made them who they are today.
They’ve come a long way from their first appearance at NXNE almost 20 years ago, where they appeared under the name Pezz, now they are the headliners.After the night wound down at YDS, it was time as usual to find a seedy underground after-hours venue that was hosting another late night band.
Female-fronted power rock band Diemonds from Toronto, playing at the Bovine, seemed like a perfect way to end the night.
Filled with sexy and seductive stage presence, and sonically surreal sensory sounds, this band really leaves an impression on its viewers.After just finishing their Road Rager your in May, they had just enough time to recollect themselves for their shows at NXNE.
Their aptly named latest album The Bad Pack has left fans wanting more from this critically acclaimed band in studio, but they’ve been consistently touring without repose. The band, who first became internationally known after being the first female-fronted band to ever play in Shillong, India, has had their first full-length album released now in Japan. Lead singer and face of the Diemonds, Priya Panda, is a beer drinking dirty rocker with classic metal roots in her, which is apparent both off and on stage. She’s also a model known for boasting big hair-dos and high-heeled pumps, where in photos, you get to see a little bit of her softer side, far different than the hardcore sight-to-see she is on stage.
Story by Devin Size, photos by Tee Onek