NXNE 2014 Diaries: Redanda

Reports from the trenches

Redanda & Buddy-Boys at NXNE 2014

This is being written with a fairly heavy hangover, but hopefully that means our experience at NXNE 2014 is still fresh in the mind, however hazy. We departed from Hamilton (which a beer girl at the tents at Yonge & Dundas kindly referred to as Mordor) on Friday. Our set at Sneaky Dee’s was pretty late, 1 AM to be exact, and the trouble is is that when a bunch of us buddy boys get together we cannot help but drink like fish. This made for a whirlwind of a set, which has its benefits in loud, boisterous behaviour and a bit of stage stumbling which I assume would be funny to watch.

Just my luck that on the first riff of the first track one of the screws that holds my guitar strap on popped right out so I proceeded to play the rest of the song on one leg like a flamingo, while the other held my guitar at my chest. To quote Ray from Trailer Park Boys: “way she goes.” Our good buddy boy Kevan bought us a round of shots on a plate and put them on stage, but also spilt the whole lot. Luckily he was able to slurp most of it off the plate and buy us some more. For all the sloppiness, it was still a really fun gig.

Saturday we mainly spent our time at Yonge-Dundas Square where we literally drank beer all day while enjoying the sights and sounds at the heart of the festival. We did an interview under a tent, tried to get a picture of someones scrotum up on the big TV via twitter hastag (it didn’t make it through but you can see it on our twitter page if you like that sort of thing), and saw Alvvays and Mac Demarco play.

pierceAlvvays were really cool; that singer has some voice on her, a wonderful sense of melody, and killer lyrics. Then we saw Mac and his band who we are huge fans of, and frankly we think Mac Demarco would make a great prime minister. Apparently another of our friends, Andrew, crowd-surfed to the front, threw a ‘Redanda’ pin/button at Mac, who caught it, held it up and then set it on his synth. We also got to meet Pierce, their bass player, because he recognized Kevan as the only one in the crowd holding up the shocker rather than the classic rock & roll hand sign.

NXNE is the first festival we’ve played, and the whole attitude throughout the city is one of positive vibes. Everyone who worked for the festival was very friendly which is an attribute that spreads quickly. I think the coolest thing about NXNE is the fact that it essentially converts the city into a musical scavenger hunt of sorts, where we wind our way through streets and towers to stumble upon talented acts that we may never have heard of. To also be a part of the music itself is awesome. Rock & Roll bands more often than not remain in the underground without any sort of attention, but a festival like NXNE brings so many of these bands together and creates a certain air of excitement and certainly more accessibility.

— Corey from Redanda