June 15 2013 – One year between NXNE music festivals is a long wait, but when the event kicks off our insatiable quest for ROCK continues in full force. Not only are we excited to see our favorite bands one more time, we are thrilled to discover the new gems of the Toronto Indie scene. Although the festival caters to a wide range of musical tastes, we here at T-Mak World are pure rockers at heart and are children of the school of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, Black Sabbath, Rival Sons, etc. Our full NXNE coverage (including band interviews) is found here on this page so take a look around if you wish – 15 bands on Day 1, 10 bands on Day 2, 8 bands on Day 3.
Tonight was the third night of music and after an incredible second night we knew it would be a relatively uneventful night. Boy where we wrong – we saw some insanely good rock and the night played down like this.
The Beaches (The Rivoli @10 PM)
We saw this band rock the Rivoli. At first they were a little pop-ish for our tastes but they rocked progressively harder as the set went along. These young girls have a bright future.
Saint Alvia (Hard Luck Bar @11 PM)
Saint Alvia rocked the Hard Luck Bar. Powerful vocals, great rocking riffs and a tight rhythm section. The piano adds a great melodic touch to their music. Looking forward to seeing a full set from this band in the future.
The Anti-Queens (Bovine Sex Club @11 PM)
Raw and hard, they are a borderline punk sounding hard rocking female band that pleased the packed Bovine with both their supercharged music and their likeable on stage persona. Really good set that proved a very good choice at this time slot.
The Danks (The Hideout @12 AM)
Toronto’s The Danks who are described as “Angular garage rock or what it would sound like if The Strokes were eastern bums and creeps ripping the Buzzcocks. Drifters with a purpose and doing dark research into subterranean FM rock n’ roll across nations, generations, and genres.” Sounds about right.
Biblical (Bovine Sex Club @12 AM)
Despite a late start due to a late arriving member they started off with the longest song intro ever, when the guitarist came running in and plugged in the audience forgave any transgression and got entranced with Biblical’s insanely good rock. Jam band may not be a good description but all three songs they played clocked in at over 10 minutes like the best of drawn out rockers from Zeppelin or Neil Young. We really loved their sound and in fact they win our Gig Of The Night from one of our editors (see below).
The Public Animal (Bovine Sex Club @1 AM)
Not many words needed for The Public Animal. In their first public performance Thursday night they won our Gig Of The Night and they won it again tonight. Highly polished, arena ready, charismatic, insanely talented, massive dual vocalists (a la Nicks/Buckingham), crowd pleasing, legendary…… Toronto has been served notice, and The Public Animal is ready to own the indie rock scene.
Imperial State Electric (Bovine Sex Club @2 AM)
Unbelievable that some bands travel far and wide to converge in Toronto for NXNE but Imperial State Electric is one of those bands. Hailing from Sweden there were no signs of ABBA here as the highly polished and professional quartet delivered very entertaining hard rock. They were the Secret Show of the night and we could not have picked a better band to play unannounced. They gave Toronto a taste of Sweden unlike any since Mats Sundin ruled the ring. One of our editors give this one a Gig Of The Night.
Bella Clava (Horseshoe Tavern @3 AM)
Drummer Jody Brumell counted in great new song We Were Dead so all in the Horseshoe knew the show was underway. Two other great new songs followed. Hopefully there will be a new album in their future. The whirling dervish, guitarist Suttie is worth the price of admission all on his own. He broke a D string on his double neck SG but with 17 other strings to choose from on the guitar, didn’t let it slow him down. 3 AM is for real rock and roll fans says Bella Clava but 3 AM is also for real rock bands we say. They killed it.
VERDICT: As we always do our four editors select their “Gig Of The Night” which is a reflection of personal taste and the overall band’s performance (both musically and stylistically).
Here is what we liked tonight:
John Dash (Movie Critic) – Imperial State Electric wins my Gig Of The Night with their smooth and highly polished record friendly hard rock.
Michael Litt (Music Editor) – Public Animal is my Gig Of The Night simply because they rocked with more ferocious rockness than even last night’s Gig Of The Night performance at Lee’s Palace.
Steve Mallinson (Sr Editor and Photographer) –Bella Clava has won Gig Of The Night from me before and their performance did it for me again despite serious competition from Dacey’s other band playing on the same night and Biblical who were amazing.
Terry Makedon (Chief Beverage Provider of T-Mak World) – Biblical is my Gig Of The Night with their hypnotic hard rock jams that would make Uncle Neil and Crazy Horse proud. Top notch musical performance.Article – Terry Makedon | Photos – Steve Mallinson | Video – Michael Litt T-Mak World: Toronto’s Site for Music, Movies and Culture www.tmakworld.com | Twitter | Facebook Get the T-Mak World Toolbar below to get all the info you need