NXNE 2014 Day 3, part 1: We are Underwhelmed

NXNE is Toronto's music, film, comedy, art and interactive festival.
There's no shortage of daytime shows at NXNE at a variety of venues. We've seen Slow down, Molasses in the courtyard of the Global Village Backpackers hostel; Les Breastfeeders on a rooftop; Dusted at Urban Outfitters; Allie Hughes in Trinity Bellwoods Park. So it almost seemed strange to see an afternoon show at an "ordinary" venue: The Hidden Pony Records Showcase/5th birthday party at the Legendary Horseshow Tavern. But this is NXNE, and extraordinary is always just around the corner.

The Danks, who redeemed themselves in our esteem at NXNE last year, were on our schedule for 1 p.m., but patio burgers at the Black Bull Tavern with CBC Radio 3 friends trumped. We got to the Shoe just in time for Rah Rah and a huge love-in between more Radio 3 fans and for the Regina band and their prairie alt-rock/pop. It's possible we've seen Rah Rah more times than any other band; they never seem to stop touring. Maybe it was all the R3 appreciation, but it was the best show we've ever seen them perform. There was no trace of the Rah Rah that we've affectionately called the most awkward band we know and love. They were confident and obviously having a great time.

Odds were up next. There we were at the bar, chatting with friends we only see once a year. Until it sure sounded like Steven Page was on stage singing... and then Chris Murphy of Sloan? Along with Jay Ferguson, Odds, Murphy and Page, a hilarious improv-jam-mash-up ensued, with Murphy forgetting the lyrics to "Underwhelmed" and everyone singing along to the na-na-na-nahs of "Hey Jude." Could our evening lineup possibly top that?

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images