You’re banned! Your night is over! NXNE serves up good (and interesting) times with music and BBQs

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to (yet again) participate in the NXNE music fest in Toronto, ON and check out some fresh musical talent to treat my ears to.

Unfortunately (and this is the key word in my blurb) I got distracted by BBQs and parties this year and didn’t really have the chance to hear many new sounds.

I only had two days for NXNE. Arriving on the Friday, I already knew what I had planned for that night. I know the guys from St. Joe’s Mission and saw on the schedule that they were playing Hard Luck that night, so I thought I’d surprise them. This hard rock/funk band is never a disappointment, always putting on a great show. I know their album by heart and was a bit disappointed with not hearing my favorite track, “The Reins,” live but meh, what can you do? They mostly performed some new tunes and it was really enjoyable.

After SJM played, I hung out for a bit and then headed out to find my buddies from the Toronto-based thrash metal band Fatality, who were having a Slayer party in The Bunker, which is the basement bar of Hard Luck. So what to do next? You better believe I put on my hail horns and let her rip! Even though it wasn’t part of NXNE festivities, it was an awesome time; one with lots of booze, devil worshipping, head banging and breaking faces in the mosh pit. Oh, and a little Asher dancing was even caught on film.

The next day, Saturday, was a long one with lots of walking, drinking and hanging out with new and old friends, not to mention getting banned from a venue (but we’ll get to that later).

I started off the day slow, getting some sleep in because I knew I’d be running around all over the city. I started the day off with the Red Bull x Pop Montreal party with its secret door and location. I was at this shindig last year and it was lots of fun but unfortunately (key word again) the Red Bull x Pop Montreal party was a bit disappointing this time around, as it was in the early afternoon, had no bands, no real drinks (mostly Red Bull, duh!, and some beer from St. Ambroise) and to add to it all, they only let 50 people in at a time onto the rooftop for the BBQ, even though it looked like only 50 people were at this bash.

So after getting my belly full and meeting some friends, it was time to collect together and jet to a better bash. Oh yes, a better bash! A really good bash! Best NXNE party…wait for it…. ever! (Not as good as last years, but still tons of fun!)

The Joao Carvalho party was a great time, hung out with Vancouver’s Kill Matilda, who just relocated to Hamilton via Montreal (and who also had a NXNE show later that night at the Hideout), and a mix of other friends and industry folks. I heard some great bands but to be honest, I was so engaged in conversation, food and drink that the bands turned into background music, setting the ambiance. Oh well, maybe next year I’ll remember their names.

So the only real show I had planned for on Saturday was Kill Matilda, then I hoped to stay at the Hideout until closing. But unfortunately (yes, again), this did not go the way we wanted it to. I got into the venue early so as not to miss KM’s set, but holy va vulva, what a line-up there was for this show! Just my luck, I got in with my misses, but all my friends got uber stuck outside; even with NXNE passes, nobody was allowed. (Pet peeve: NXNE passes did not help with line-ups this year).

Kill Matilda put on an amazing set! They were so energetic, so much fun, that they engaged the crowd and got both chicks and dudes dancing to their rock-punk fusion. They played “She’s A Killer,” “Revenge,” “Geisha with a Switchblade” and many more from their last release and from the new EP coming out this fall.

Once their set was over and I found out that my whole party crew couldn’t get into the venue, I decided to bail on Hideout because I’d rather party with the people I love. But before I did that, I hooked up with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. So along with her and my misses, I headed to Cherry Cola’s to try to check out a band from LA but yet again, unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

Let’s just say a friend of a friend knew someone at Cherry’s and we were supposedly hooked up, but as we got in, they threw us out and the line from the bouncer was priceless: “You! You guys, your night is over!” I actually wanted to be a smart ass and tell the loser that my night was only beginning, but since I’m 5’4 and the bouncer dude looked like he could eat me for a snack, I let it go!

Anyways, after all that fun, I ended up at the Velvet Underground for the rest of the night, enjoying some more good music and a great crowd.

Oh ya, I just want to add that I was so scared when my night was over. Not! (Yes, cheese ball ’90s line)

Till next year!

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