NXNE: Port Lands Edition (Review)
Another NXNE has come and gone and this year, we were introduced to new sounds, new friends and even a new format. Organizers have strayed from tradition by introducing us to NXNE Port Lands. Not going to lie, I was slightly worried at first. Considering it’s location, relative to everywhere else in Toronto, we didn’t expect to see many in attendance but we were pleasantly surprised. Both Saturday and Sunday were packed with solid musicians varying from hip-hop to indie rock ensuring there was something for all of us to enjoy. As much as I loved the entire event, there are always a few standout performances. What were they? Well here’s a quick recap of my favourite acts of NXNE: Port Lands Edition.
Confession time! When I first saw the name, I was just ‘meh’ because I had no idea who he was. It wasn’t until he began singing that I recognized him and for that, I’m terribly sorry. Mangan absolutely crushed it! His smoky folk voice resonated with the audience. People who didn’t know him fell in love with him and the onesalready in love, were jealous. You could instantly tell who came to the show as fans of Mangan. They were the ones who refused to stop singing. Phenomenal set.
Come On, it’s Ghostface. Dude’s an icon, a legend, and inspiration, and influencer. If you’ve seen him live, you know what to expect but it’s always amazing watching people experience Ghostface for the first time. His highly contagious energy makes it impossible to get drawn into his world. What’s awesome about him is that he always plays of the crowd. The more we chanted his name, the more he paced back-and-forth, the more he gestured at us, the more he dropped rhymes and we loved every second of it. If you are a fan of hip-hop but haven’t seen him yet, please put him on your “must-see” list.
Those dudes are BUSY! Between releasing craft beer and collaborating with other musicians, you’d think they never have time to practice works from their own catalogue. Well think again. Their set was AMAZING. They played many crowd pleasers and even mixed it up by throwing in songs from their new EP. Loser, one of my personal favourites, also turned out to be a crowd favourite, so I was excited to share the moment with other Born Ruffian fans.
Father John Misty
Captain odd himself. Father John Misty closed out the NXNE: Port Lands Edition on Sunday like a boss. FJM knows how to perform. Not only that, but his ability to hold a one-sided conversation with the audience while gyrating with an imaginary lover is never boring. He heckled us (with love) and found ways to make the awkward moments a main topic of conversation. “It’s not everyday you perform in a parking lot for your fans and they’re completely okay with that.” Even before he began his set, pockets of crowds began forming in anticipation. They weren’t let down. He was animated throughout the entire set leaving us wondering about the amount of ‘fun-in-a bottle’ he had prior to the night’s festivities.