I’m coming off of the crazy week long phenomenon that is NXNE. I went every night from Wednesday to Saturday, and saw bands that played everything from dream pop to punk rock to hip hop with some African drumming on the side.
I saw some amazing bands at a number of venues, but the highlight of NXNE for me was Fucked Up at the Horseshoe Tavern. I’ve been a big fan of Fucked Up since The Chemistry of Common Life, and I knew that the Horseshoe was going to be the greatest place to see them. My amazing friend Kelly had joined me for the week of NXNE, and though she wanted to go to another show that was on at the same time, she agreed to join me for the 1 AM show. Before she agreed to go, she asked, “Will I like it?”, and as any good friend would, I told her honestly, “No, no you won’t!” She was apprehensive as we waited to get into the Horseshoe, but one can forget many things after an hour and half in line. When Kelly and I finally got in after a conversation with the truly lovely bouncer who just happens to hate his job most days, (all the best my friend!) we moved about as close to the stage as we could without entering what would inevitability become the mosh pit. I was ready, born ready. It had been years since I had been to a hardcore show.
Fucked Up’s show is the reason why I love that kind of music. The environment was electric, with Damian Abraham and the band giving everything from the moment the show started. The crowd was fearless, and there was a sense of community that comes from only the craziest of shows. As Damian said midway through I Hate Summer, “We’re all fat, we’re all too skinny, we’re all too beautiful, we’re all ugly.”
The show was everything I hoped it would be. Kelly, however, did not feel so similarly inspired. She said afterwards that she “just stood there looking quizzical.”Beyond the question she asked about what she had just seen — numerous fans crowd surfed to the stage to bear hug Damian before diving back in again — she asked me if anyone else knew that I liked this kind of music. Certainly it’s not something I keep secret in the way I do a few concerts I’ve been to*. The main reason why Kelly and my high school classmates I ran into at the show didn’t know that I listened to that type of music is simply because they never asked! Only those who I’ve lived with (love to Becca, Adina and Livs for putting up with the same song seventeen times in a row) or studied with (apologizes to Clara and Mark for the times I interrupted their studying to talk about Earl Sweatshirt) would really have a sense of my range of interests. So in the spirit of NXNE and the greatest hardcore shows, let’s talk about our taste in music. If you never ask, you will never know who shares your love of anarchist folk or French rap, and you’ll never know the genre that could become your new favourite.
Thanks for coming out to read my first blog post! I hope you stick around to see what this blog will become. In the mean time, check out some of my other NXNE favourites, Decent Lovers, Air Dubai and Dan Deacon.
Song of the Day: Black Albino Bones by Fucked Up
*More on that to come.