I must say, covering NXNE (and SCENE Fest in St Catharines a mere week later!) was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. You can bet I’ll be attempting to do so again next year.
Looking forward a handful of days to Osheaga Festival de Musique et Arts in Montréal, I’m again beginning to buzz over as I make my plans. I’ve never been to Montréal! Will they be mean to me because I remember little to no français from school? I attended a purely French–speaking school until grade 3, and I was a terrible student. I remember the shock of the transition as my parents allowed me to transfer to an English school, and suddenly becoming a bright and gifted student. Quelle surprise! But I digress.
One of the best moments of the NXNE experience for me was getting into the secret show Stars performed at the Edward Day gallery out near Parkdale on Queen St W on the Saturday morning. See, I did the scavenger hunt and fought through the throngs at their gig at Yonge–Dundas Square the night before, but I do have one confession.
See, though I wasn’t there as media, I did have two aces up my sleeve: my NXNE media access pass and a brilliant writer/photographer friend who was there with media access. So the moment I entered, I put on my pass, brandished my camera and joined him… and no one was any the wiser.
So there we stood, perched on the stairs to the bands’ personal space backstage while everyone else milled in tightly to watch Chad VanGaalen perform an eccentric solo set before Stars came out to take the stage. He and I transitioned into the small side–stage area, though, and by association I got to experience the Montréal icons perform from a few feet to their right, photographing along the way.
I got away with it, and of course I raised no trouble. However I admit I’m somewhat concerned that I’m karmically due for a comeuppance as I prepare to head to Montréal after receiving a blessing of a concert experience I didn’t deserve. I worry about things like that.
Stars were brilliant, by the way. Read my account of the experience on the Interrobang website, and my mate’s tales of his adventures covering the NXNE festival on behalf of Consequence Of Sound. It’s good stuff.