Concert Review: NXNE Round-Up DAY 2 – Rancho Relaxo
1977, Different Skeletons, The Jon Cohen Experimental, Parks & Rec, Bella Clava, The Cheap Speakers, Say Domino, Dead Messenger
The second night of NXNE at Rancho Relaxo was booked with an array of different sounds – and with a bill this large that might not seem that difficult to believe.
1977 kicked off the night with some surf pop that you hopefully didn’t miss – especially so if you’re a Beach boys fan.
Different Skeletons then crazed the audience with their ability to disguise technical difficulties as part of the show. The lead vocalist was quite bold (especially so in his facial expressions): he not only played his guitar amongst the crowd; he took out his anger on his malfunctioning wah-wah peddle by tossing it around and mashing on it with his foot…eventually throwing it down the long and steep staircase from Rancho’s venue area down to the street level below.
Montreal’s The Jon Cohen Experimental took the stage next, electrifying the audience with his extreme talent. This one-man show consisted of improvised original content as he recorded himself, looped the sound into his system and continued this way for the duration of the set.
Parks & Rec hit the scene next – arriving as shoeless folkish hipsters. The whole band entered the crowd feeding the audience more and more with their music. So much so that vocalist/guitarist Charles Tilden broke his strings and had to be replaced during the show… meanwhile, the band kept playing and making jokes (what a great save!)
Bella Clava then rocked the stage, pulling the audience into a time warp of awesome. If you enjoy Grace Slick’s gut wrenching vocals and a heart-thumping bass, this is the band to check out.
Next was Say Domino; pounding out an experimental psychobilly-type sound, and flaunting a bassist that enjoyed jumping up and down barefoot with an extremely 80s haircut. These crazy cats came all the way from London (Ontario) to rock the stage of the Rancho, and did quite a good job of getting things moving.
Closing the night was Dead Messenger… complete with lead vocalist rocking a wicked 70s stash. The jumping audience didn’t want the night to end and these Quebeckers made that dream happen with intense energy and excitement long past 3am…
With an epic night of rock-n-roll inspired from various genres, Rancho Relaxo (and booker/promoter Two Way Monologues) put on a great selection of bands for day 2 of NXNE.
- LIZ GARERI