SO MUCH TO DO AND SO LITTLE TIME
White Rabbits at the Mod Club
Hooded Fang at the Horseshoe
Story by Laura Cappe
Photos by Evan Cappe and Laura Cappe
Day 2 of NXNE was a series of misadventures, missed shows, a deafening of the eardrums and a few unexpected hellos. I had mapped out my Thursday evening days in advance. On blue paper I drew up my master plan – chalking up routes, pit stops, even bathroom breaks. As an avid festival-goer I should have known better – these things never go according to plan.
The idea was to hit up the Vice/Noisey island party – eat some burgers and s’mores – then head back to the mainland in time to see Vacationer at the Mod Club, then catch a bit of the Arts and Crafts showcase at the Rivoli, Violins at The Horseshoe and finish it off with Purity Ring at Wrongbar at 1am.
What actually happened: I missed the boat (pun!) and then Vacationer. Violins seemed to have gotten booted from the Horseshoe bill and tiredness eventually sunk in.
With that being said I did manage to see two solid sets from White Rabbits (which proceeded Vacationer) at The Mod Club and Hooded Fang at The Horseshoe. Both bands have made several appearances on my playlists over the past four years, but I had never gotten a chance to actually witness their studio sound come to life on stage.
White Rabbits – six lads from Brooklyn – have that typical indie rock sound that you often hear on music blogs and satellite radio. But what sets them apart is their ability to create a big and full sound on stage that pulses through your body (having two drum kits can certainly generate that effect). Similar to bands like The Temper Trap and Muse, White Rabbits played with a raw energy that left each member dripping with sweat.
Down on Queen Street, Toronto based Hooded Fang played to a particularly rowdy crowd – music lovers warm with alcohol and high on sound – allowed the music to seep into their bones. Fans got up on stage to dance around and shockingly didn’t make any regretful decisions, stage diving (or rather face planting) onto the floor. The perfect way to sum this set up – pure fun.
After a lot of heading bopping next to speakers, my eyes swelled with tiredness, so I decided to throw in the towel early to get ready for the rest of the weekend’s festivities (lame I know). Cheers to tonight, tomorrow and the day after that!
Hibou at The Czhoski
Story by Adam Steel
Photo by Stella Kulagowski
The soulful duo of Tracey Adams-Thibaudeau and Sergio Abegao would prove to be a welcomed come-down from yesterday’s high-flown rampage of shredded guitars and ferocious caterwauls. Czehoski’s compacted atmosphere served well for the Toronto twosome known as Hibou, who put on a spectacular midnight show equal parts playful and sexy, with just enough room to swivel and sway to the bouncy, electro-infused waves. Taking the stage as though having just walked out of a prom photo, him in geek-chic tailoring and skinny tie; her in a glorious sequined number with tousled locks and Chrissie Hynde swagger, the indie veterans (formed in 2006) could not have exuded any more coolness if they tried—a trademark vibe that certainly seemed to resonate with the audience.
Thibaudeau’s slinky vocals melded harmoniously with Abegao’s seasoned guitar chops as they sluiced their way through track after track of glossy and flirty fun. An absolute NXNE highlight, Hibou sent the evening crowd listlessly and lustfully bounding out into the street.
For me, day two turned out to be child’s play: champagne bubbles, easy listening and sensible shoes. Bring on the weekend.