Sloan, FLAG, and TRW for Friday of NXNE
Friday night of NXNE brought us on a nice adventure of old and new giants in pop/punk rock music, both Canadian and American heavyweights were out to please crowds on the third night of this brandished music festival.
The night started off with the highly anticipated show from their hometown heroes, the Torontonian veteran band known as Sloan, playing at the Great Hall.
Making headway from their original formation two decades ago in Halifax, the band has come a long way, and stolen the hearts of many on their path.Competing over the years with other GTA based bands, such as the Barenaked Ladies from Scarborough, and Our Lady Peace who formed around the same time, they always managed to keep their name in lights and headlines.
This year marked their 21st, and to celebrate, they gave fans a nostalgic taste of what made them who they are today, playing their entire first ever EP Peppermint from start to finish. Much like OLP did a couple years back with their Clumsy tour.It was interesting to see the same songs, but played with the band’s progressive style they’ve developed over the years. It really gave their old tunes a make-over, especially to be able to see it in a live setting as such.
It was a rather short set for such a long-standing band, given that they only played eight songs, and since six of those were from their original EP, their wasn’t much room for newer and more recognized hits radio fans are familiar with. But this set was designed to please new fans as much as educate them on why others have been fans for so many years.
The night brought us to the Opera House on the far-east side of Toronto, so see the reincarnation of Black Flag’s GV 30 lineup, aptly now named solely FLAG, which is touring performing Black Flag songs.With four of the original members of the California 80’s punk outfit that was formerly Black Flag, original vocalist Keith Morris, along with guitarist Dez Cadena, bassist Chuck Dukowski, and Bill Stevenson on drums, with Steven Egerton of the Descendents on guitar.
Much like seeing the classic punk rock foursome Social Distortion play at Yonge-Dundas Square the night before, it was amazing to see another American punk band from 20 odd years back still wail. This was one of the outstanding features, amongst many others, of the 19th anniversary of NXNE.The band rocked out passed midnight and the fans were in awe of seeing these veterans having more energy and zeal than most of them.
The Opera House was completely destroyed by fans old and new of the rebirth of Black Flag, where their return was more than welcomed, it was cherished.The night wasn’t quite over yet, although after those two shows, we almost were.
But the Rabid Whole, the eclectic electronic rock group from Saskatchewan but based out of Toronto, took over their favourite Toronto venue Cherry Cola’s.A must see for any fan of modern electronica infused rock, TRW never ceases to delight fans with an energetic show of guitars and synthesizers combined with emotionally entrancing lyrics and vocals.
Main songwriter for the group, and multi-talented vocalist and instrumentalist, Andreas Weiss, has an impressive foothold in both Canadian and international music scenes, having toured with Canadian greats like Econoline Crush, and American sensations such as Hinder.Their distinctive presence on stage and their ability to incorporate visual stimulation that matches their auditory prowess really sticks to fans, and their catchy tunes resonate in heads for days after their shows.
All in all in was an exciting night across the city for NXNE, and even though it’s impossible to take it all in due to its vast span, it’s amazing to get to pick and choose favourites old and new to see all in one night, or should I say five.
Story by Devin Size, Photos by Tee Onek.