Hollerado, Oberhofer, Of Montreal, Portugal. The Man
Yonge-Dundas Square Toronto, ON
June 15, 2012
Review by: Chad Hutchings
Photos by: Pete Nema
Our views from the crowd during one NXNE 2012's signature events.
As a growing audience took to Yonge-Dundas and soaked up some free tunes and mid-afternoon rays, Ontario's own Hollerado broke out their bright sound to accompany the sun. Luckily, Sticky's Editor-in-Chief was there to bring you the best views from the set.
Every time Brad Oberhofer and his band come through the city, I find myself with some insurmountable obligation that keeps me from taking in the act that's been a key feature in my apartment on regular rotation. Of course, as luck would have it this time around, the band's NXNE timeslot at Yonge-Dundas Square came alongside the same sad story that kept me from also seeing Hollerado. But, while it took me too much time to squeeze into the crowd for Oberhofer's final song of their set, our man behind the camera had a prime spot in the photo pit to take in the show that had the audience raving and this writer sulking. Check out what he saw.
Although Oberhofer was off the table for me once more, things worked out better when Of Montreal picked up their instruments. Even at 7 in the early evening, a massive audience had formed at Yonge-Dundas, and the band was ready to put on a show.
Of Montreal always throws a great party, with a sound that's wild and high-energy - a signature quirkiness that unsurprisingly gives them a big reputation and a very loyal fan base. This day, though, while the musical performance was as strong as ever (most brightly highlighted by an animated performance of "The Party's Crashing Us"), the show was all about the spectacle. People dressed as pigs were hunted on stage, moshers in American flag bodysuits were par for the course, and a fury of other bizarre and often sexual visuals made for content that was far from PG (and definitely not PC, for that matter). The set was a crazy and awesome effort, but jolting to see in the bright sunlight.
Portugal. The Man
Following the 45 minutes of debauchery, Portugal. The Man came to the stage for something completely different.
In 2011, the band's appearance at The Mod Club was arguably one of the best concerts the city had seen all year, but Of Montreal proved to be a very hard act to follow. With the Portland-based rock outfit solely showcasing their musical talents, they had trouble keeping the attention of the soaring crowd packed into the square.
This is not necessarily a band that's engaging enough for such a large stage, and it was easy to see that they would have done better to have instead preceded the act they followed. But, no matter where the thousands of eyes were pointing during their set, Portugal. The Man treated us to one hell of a sound. Tracks like “So American” and “People Say” showcased their ability to perform strongly in any condition, and the epic “Sleep Forever” was suitably offered up to close one of the most under-appreciated sets of the festival.