| June 21, 2012 | Comments (991)

North By Northeast was a huge event this year. Check out the photos and updates from our man in the field Neil Van;


NXNE 2012 Day 1 started off to a quiet start at the El Momcambo.  Winnipeg natives Enjoy Your Pumas got the room upstairs going to their pop infused songs, while downstairs, newly signed Gus & Scout, Scout is daughter of  actor Bruce Willis, played with mix of blues/country and folk rock.  Photographers came to catch a glimpse of the hyped duo.  This was followed by the highly popular six-member band, Amos The Transparent from Ottawa, who put on a wildly fun performance.  Toronto’s own Sacred Balance followed but short of band members, as only four were present on this night.  I was able to catch Day 1’s secret band, The Balconies, at the back room at Cameron House.  They put on a quite intimate acoustic show. It was well worth the trip, as the band typically put on a loud, rowdy live performance.  They will be playing Edgefest 2012 later in July.



You definitely missed out on one of the highlights of NXNE 2012, when A Place to Bury Strangers took the stage at the El Mocambo Thursday Night.   I had missed them when they opened a couple of months back for The Joy Formidable. It was loud.  It was thrilling to watch even though they played literally in pitch black lit by 3 small projectors displaying random video feeds onto the speakers and two small strobes which didn’t turn on till late in their set.  It was loud. It was smoky.  It was rowdy.  People were restless and pushy as the place was packed up front.  The New Yorkers didn’t disappoint.   After much accolades from their debut album, Exploding Heads, the trio has just recently released their 2nd highly anticipated album, Worship, which is out now.   Other notable acts this night, Beliefs from Toronto, the much-hyped Army Girls, Dusted fronted by Holy Fuck’s Brian Brocherdt.



My night started off at Lee’s Palace to catch London act 2:54, notably referenced after a Melvin’s song.  The group consisted of sisters Hannah and Colette Thrulow and play often shoegazing music.  Lush vocals and savvy guitars dominate their set.  Well worth the listen!  They were followed by Brooklyn band, Diiv.  Don’t know much about this band but at first impression they looked like hippy surfers.  I shortly left to head over to the Horseshow Tavern to catch The Black Belles..  There is no mistaking Jack White had his hands in the making of the Nashville group all the way down to their wardrobe and makeup and distinctive Jack White influenced sound.  Highly recommended listening.   A short trip got me heading to the El Mocambo for the rest of the night to catch the clean shaving boys of PEI, Paper Lions and the rowdy, fun, animated Toronto group Teenage Kicks, who by the way put on a fabulous show, mainly because Pete van Helvoort is one crazy performer.  After Teenage Kicks, a quick stop over to the Silver Dollar to catch a bit of Los Angeles’ Bleached after their guitarist got delayed and the group played a later set at 2 am in the morning.  Bleached thanked the people who were able to stay as most the crowd had left earlier in the night.  A good end to the night.




The Horseshoe Tavern played host to an almost Canadian lineup, excluding the big draw of the night The Lumineers.  Thunder Bay natives, Poor Young Things, opened the night with good ol’ rock and roll.  They have not really new to the Toronto scene but have not released a debut album.  The not so-secret band, B.C.s’ Yukon Blonde roar on stage to applause and played an upbeat set to an packed crowd at the legendary tavern.  Followed by a relatively new comer to the music scene, The Lumineers, who attracted the most crowd.  The Colorado group are reminiscent of UK folksy/bluegrass band Mumford and Sons.  Their debut album is filled with nostalgia and their performance heartfelt.  It is no surprise they have developed a following of fans and sold out shows in the states.  Definitely, The Lumineers are a band to watch.  Their debut album, self-titled The Lumineers, was just recently released back in April.  Young Empires followed The Lumineers, but the crowd thinned down.  Young Empires garnered some hype during CMWs 2012 this year and are always fun to watch, playing fun electro-rock pop songs.


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Category: Events, Photo Updates, Reviews