NXNE 2010 equals roughly 650 bands playing at over 40 stages across the city in the next seven days. It's safe to say that Toronto is about to be consumed by the music industry, compliments of the 2010 edition of the North by Northeast Music Festival. NXNE features a strong and eclectic assortment of performers this year, offering rare performances from legendary musicians as well as a first look at hundreds of young, up-and-coming acts.
The NXNE features a healthy mixture of home-grown and international talent including Iggy and the Stooges, De La Soul, Sloan, Kid Sister, DD/MM/YYYY, The Blue Van, Buck 65, Eagles of Death Metal, The Icarus Line, Timber Timbre, Les Savy Fav, Surfer Blood, Wavves and The Raveonettes, just to name a few. Check out our list of must-see shows at NXNE 2010.
Wednesday June 16
Wednesday nights showcase at The Mod Club (722 College St.) offers up a diverse line-up for opening night of NXNE, starting with a performance from local urban funk/folk musician Ko at 9pm. Danish blues/garage rock quartet The Blue Van hit the stage at 9pm, and local Arts & Crafts indie rockers Still Life Still take over at 10pm to deliver a headlining set to a hometown crowd.
If you're in the mood for something a little more aggressive, head to the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne St.) for the Virgin Mobile NXNE Opening Night bash featuring the one and only Eagles of Death Metal. Only 200 NXNE wristbands will be admitted to the show, so if the thought of missing out makes you cringe, you might want to look into buying a single show tickets, available online for $25.
Thursday June 17
There's a great amount of buzz surrounding the indie rock friendly NXEW Showcase at The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen St. W.), which makes sense considering the calibre of Canadian talent hitting the stage on Thursday night. Things will kick off with a high-energy set from Saskatchewan rockers Volcanoless in Canada at 8pm, followed by performances from Newfoundland rock act The Mountains & the Trees (9pm), local indie folk band Olenka and the Autumn Lovers (10pm), Rock Plaza Central (11pm), The Coast (12am) and A Horse and His Boy (1am). Ottawa indie sensations Amos The Transparent (2am) will close out the night at The Gladstone, giving you a great reason to take advantage of the extended drinking hours.
For those looking for something a little less rock oriented, The Rivoli (332 Queen St. W.) is also a good bet for live music on Thursday night. Things get started at 9pm with a performance from Montreal's Chris Velan, followed by sets from Arts & Crafts rockers Zeus at 10pm, Halifax hip hop veteran Buck 65 at 11pm, hometown hip hop experimentalists Grand Analog at midnight and the Kate Rogers Band at 1am.
The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. W.) hosts a NXNE showcase handpicked by the folks at Hand Drawn Dracula Records, featuring Rituals (8pm), Brian Borcherdt's Fields of Fur (9pm), Sebastien Grainger's latest project Bad Tits (10pm), Bishop Morocco (11pm) and Little Girls (12am). After the rock show is over, Toronto's mymanhenri and NYC's Falty DL will hit the decks to keep the party going into the wee hours of the morning.
Friday June 18
NOW Magazine's showcase at The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen St. W.) on Friday night is one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the festival, featuring eight incredible Canadian acts. The gig starts early with a set from Mathemagic (8pm), followed by Ghost Bees at 9pm, indie folk act Timber Timbre at 10pm, spastic rockers DD/MM/YYYY at 11pm, Hamilton rock band C'Mon at midnight and local dance rockers Styrofoam Ones (1am). The Now DJs take over at 2am, and Torro Torro will close the show out with a late night set starting at 3am.
Saturday June 19
What would a NXNE festival be without getting down and dirty at the steamy Horseshoe Tavern (368 Queen St. W.) at least once? Saturday night's CBC Radio 3 Sirius Showcase is sure to be a cramped and sweaty affair, with Regina rockers Library Voices taking the stage at 9pm, followed by BC's Hannah Georgas at 10pm, local folk act Bruce Peninsula at 11pm, Welland rockers Attack in Black at midnight, Hamilton's Huron at 1am and Halifax act The Stanfields at 2:15am.
Wrongbar (1279 Queen St. W.) hosts the SCION Showcase featuring a stacked, p4k-friendly indie rock line-up: Mississauga's The Meligrove Band (9pm), Australian trio The Grates (10pm), Chicago psych rockers Mannequin Men (11pm), Florida surf rock sensations Surfer Blood (midnight) and a highly anticipated set from Brooklyn experimentalists Les Savy Fav at 1am. As if that's not enough, the NXNE website promises a special guest will take the stage at 2am to close out Saturday night. I'd advise either getting there early with a wristband or buying a single ticket in advance for this one - it's undoubtedly going to be packed.
Festival headliners Iggy and the Stooges are the main act at Saturday's all-day outdoor concert at Yonge-Dundas Square. The Burning Boyz are up first at noon, followed by early afternoon sets from Queen Kwong (1pm), De Staat (2pm) and Mini Mansions (3pm). The Soft Pack (formerly known as The Muslims) hit the main stage at 4pm, DD/MM/YYYY are scheduled to deliver a chaotic performance at 5pm, and internet buzz bands Surfer Blood and Wavves hit the stage at 6 and 7pm, respectively. Danish duo The Raveonettes will perform at 8pm, making them the primary support act for American punk rock legend Iggy Pop and his band the Stooges, who will deliver a much-anticipated performance starting at 9:30pm.
Sunday June 20
Hip Hop takes over Yonge-Dundas Square on Sunday afternoon, though there's a noticeable Wu-Tang shortage compared to last year. Eclectic Toronto-based musician Spookey Ruben will perform at 4pm, Chin Injeti take the stage at 5pm, followed by a New Orleans MC Big Freedia at 6pm. Disco/funk connoisseurs The Phenomenal Handclap Band will mix it up a bit at 7pm. The night wraps with back-to-back sets from electro-rapper Kid Sister and legendary New York hip hop collective De La Soul.
According to the NXNE website, Wrongbar (1279 Queen St. W.) will host a second performance from Kid Sister around midnight, after opening sets from Gold Lake and Little Girls. OPOPO take over at 1am to close out NXNE 2010 with a bang.
Lead Photo of Sloan by Roger Cullman.
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