Concert Review: NXNE Round-Up DAY 1 – The Rivoli
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The Meligrove Band
The Paint Movement
Yukon Blonde (special guest)
If you weren’t at The Rivoli on June 15 for the Nevado Records showcase, you missed quite the performance! The night began with Toronto’s own, LOOM – a name that precisely describes the aura of sound that emanates from them, as the music loomed over the audience (though they may also have been stitching things together for the rest of the night on their musical loom as well). Brooke Manning’s voice feels like the sway of the ocean wind and currents, which easily set the tone for the first part of the night.
Songstress Megan Bonnell took the stage soon afterward, playing soft and beautiful piano tunes with a cello accompaniment that helped to create a new dynamic sound in the Rivoli back room; the drumming easily complimenting the soft and gentle piano sound.
The Meligrove Band than shook things up with some Ramones cover tunes and broke the rules of the Rivoli’s clearly stated ‘no confetti’ sign by exploding multi-coloured bits into the dancing crowd. This seemingly Clash-inspired band didn’t stop there, as a dramatic mid-set performance from guitarist Jason Nunes involved drinking mock poison and collapsing onstage, only to be revived by his fellow bandmates before they finished their set.
The crowd was wild for the Meligrove Band but had no idea what the Paint Movement was about to do to them. With the back room at The Rivoli rammed full of people and bursting with energy, the crowd danced around for this 7-piece band, that must’ve struggled to fit on stage. And with special thanks to some great saxophone backing, vocalist Dee Planche and company were able to exude a very light and airy 70s feel – creating a unique and dynamic sound for this Mississauga band.
Regina, SK’s Library Voices helped to continue this escalating energy when they hit the stage, and they got the audience ready to party like it were 2012 already [since you know, we're all supposed to party like crazy when the world ends]. This upbeat Saskatchewan band is nowhere near the soft voices you would find in a library.
Closing the night was special guest Yukon Blonde – who came all the way from BC for NXNE. The crowd went wild singing along with the band and The Paint Movement guitarist/vocalist Jason Haberman even joined them onstage for some vocal input. The audience was left wanting more and encored until Yukon Blonde played the final song of the night.
Easing all audience members into the festival, this soft and beautiful beginning for Nevado Records’ showcase at The Rivoli slowly transitioned into a variety of sound throughout the night constantly building to its climactic conclusion. The energy emitted by this bill was a rocking way to begin the 5-day journey of NXNE 2011!
- LIZ GARERI