Weaves Buttercup Music Video

The Best Unofficial Shows of NXNE 2014

NXNE has absorbed most of the day parties and house shows, but there are still a few great ones hiding in the periphery.

- Jun 17, 2014

Part of the fun of North By Northeast in previous years was attending the impromptu and unofficial shows that would inevitably pop up over the course of the festival. Now in its 20th year, NXNE have gotten wise and responded by absorbing almost every show planned in its periphery. So as to not seem so deliberate they’ve also introduced a few elements of “spontaneity” to their schedule, booking sponsored events to take place on the city’s streetcars and islands.

Fear not, there are still things to hear and do throughout the week that are unaffiliated with NXNE, though they’re a bit harder to find. Whether you’re unable to fork over the $145 for a wristband, wanting to avoid the festival altogether, or are just looking for something a little more off-colour one night, we’ve got you covered. Here are our picks for the week, but don’t be surprised if a few more short-notice shows to crop up as well. Consider this a side dish; we'll also be posting official previews and reviews all throughout the week.


Merchandise/Ukiah Drag/S.H.I.T./Black Baron @ The Horseshoe Tavern

Merchandise - Little Killer (Official Video)

If their first single is any indication, Merchandise’s follow-up to their highly-acclaimed Totale Nite promises to be a much poppier record, and this show will be Toronto’s first taste of the new material. They’ll be supported by the boggy muck of fellow countrymen Ukiah Drag as well as local punk sweethearts S.H.I.T and Black Baron. Show up early because this gig will likely be packed, and the openers should not be missed.


Silence & Pinball Sessions Present: Post-Fest @ Silence

Michael Rault- Too All My Friends (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

If you’re looking to get out of the city entirely to escape the NXNE madness, then Post-Fest might be up your alley. It’s happening an hour away in the picturesque city of Guelph, from Wednesday to Sunday. This festival’s organizers have brilliantly tuned in to the fact that many bands are traversing through Southern Ontario right now, in transit between NXNE, Ottawa Explosion, and Suoni Per Il Popolo in Montreal, and so they’ve built their own festival around it. Day one features Vancouver’s pop punk pros Tough Age, the sunny sounds of Michael Rault, and Guelph’s own Baby Labour.


Great Heart Festival @ Trinity Bellwoods Park

Thus Owls - How In My Bones (Official Video)

Thursday marks the start of this free, unplugged, live music festival, taking place in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods until Saturday. Bellwoods is guaranteed to be booming with bikes, babes and bands this week-- enough to rival Vice Island-- and is definitely a good place to head if you want to catch some bands and unwind a bit.

Meshuggah/Between The Buried And Me @ The Sound Academy

Metal music is notoriously overlooked by NXNE, so if you need to get your fix this week, there’s no better way than by seeing Meshuggah. The Swedish metal savants have been on the rampage for 25 years now, and aim to mark the occasion with a special setlist determined by their die-hard fans via an online poll. If you’ve never seen or heard the band before, this “best of” performance is an ideal way to be introduced.


Construction Unofficial NXNE Showcase: New Zebra Kid/Wild Highways/Zoo Owl @ Double Double Land

The good people at Long Winter refuse to let a thing like summer stop them from booking shows. “Construction” is the summer branch of the Long Winter concert series, and is curated by Fucked Up’s Mike Haliechuk and Toronto’s busiest promoter, Mark Pesci. Friday’s lineup includes slick synthers New Zebra Kid, Wild Highways and Zoo Owl.


Chart Attack & Sonic Boom Present: Dusted/Cities Aviv/Beta Frontiers/Creep Highway @ Sonic Boom


Dusted - "Property Lines" live in a library | Noisemakers Ep 1/8

Shameless plug. Come spend Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22 with us! Saturday’s free show will be hosted by comedian Nick Flanagan, and features an eclectic mix of talent hand-picked by us!

Summer Melt: Pleasure Leftists/Cellphone/Teenanger/Petra Glynt/Ice Cream/Toronto Homicide Squad/Das Rad/Wrong Hole @ Soybomb


Perhaps it’s its own thing, or perhaps it’s the logical heir to the annual Toronto Thaw Festival. Either way, this show is absolutely stacked. It's hard to think of a NXNE showcase that rivals this lineup. Two of the best labels in the city have joined forces to give you what will undoubtedly be a noisy, crazy, fun show.


Chart Attack & Sonic Boom Present: Baby Eagle/Army Girls/Courtney Barnett/Weaves @ Sonic Boom

Weaves - "Buttercup" live at Wavelength Fourteen | ChartAttack.com

Join us for the second part of our free, unofficial NXNE showcase, hosted by Chris Locke. Come to see the incredibly talented Weaves, and stay to see Baby Eagle’s only performance happening during NXNE.

Unaffiliated 01: Zacht Automaat/Petra Glynt/Special Costello/Baby Cages/Old and Weird/Man Made Hill/Craig Currie/SECRET SPECIAL GUEST @ Artscape Gibraltar Point

Ancaster Heights by ZACHT AUTOMAAT

Toronto’s arty music centre takes the island back on Sunday. That afternoon, Artscape Gibraltar Point will be home to many audio-visual treats that showcases some of the best and brightest this city has to offer.

Discuss this on Facebook and Twitter

Share on Tumblr

Related Posts