The next seminar I attended was entitled 'Graffiti Goes Global: How Street Art Culture Thrives Online.' Featuring Graffiti/Street artists Mediah and Other, both from Toronto originally, along with Lisa Martin, and moderated by Joseph Wilson. This topic was of particular interest to me because I am of the opinion that the globalization of street art online is representative of many issues that other artistic mediums have with the advent of the internet, such as originality and the unique creativity of the art itself. While admiring in the creativity of the two artists works, informative conclusions were made about the positive and negative aspects of a street artists having their work go viral. But most importantly the topic of 'over-saturation' of all mediums became apparent in a discussion that focused solely on the one.
I headed over to Younge and Dundas Square, the "Main Stage," if you will, for the first time since I arrived in Toronto. The square itself is basically Toronto's version of Times Square. Tall buildings and many large advertisements fill one's 360° view. NXNE has many sponsors set up there showing off their products and the large stage is the primary location for the festival's largest acts. When I arrived Montreal based band Plants and Animals began playing immediately, their brand of North American power-rock permeated the surrounding buildings in anticipation of the performance by Canadian treasure, Matthew Good. Admittedly being from the United States, I haven't heard much of Matthew Good's music until recently. It's good, pun intended, but his performance was strange to say the least. Appearing agitated and aloof at times, Good rocked the crowd, but didn't seem pleased about it, even taking a break to have a seat. When it came time to leave, the scene was mobbed with thousands of people, and it took a lot of effort to meander through the masses of drunken people belting his lyrics.
Odonis Odonis electrified the crowd.
Phèdre. Darlings of music bloggers everywhere, I had to see what this band was like live. It was pretty ridiculous. Taking the stage with a procession of glitter and theatrical props, including giant oversized Chinese fans, a half dozen or so vaguely ethnic looking beautiful young hipsters awestruck the crowd for the next forty minutes. From what I could tell, only one person was playing any instrument while everyone else danced and partied on stage, albeit the main crooner who serenaded the crowd with sexually charged lyrics. They have a lot of work to-do, but their performance was so fucking fun.
Tupper Wear Remix Party absolutely blew our minds with their performance in the street. Donned in spandex and clever costumes, they describe themselves as Daft Punk/Iron Maiden Inspired Intergalactic-Electro-Dance-Metal. And playing as quietly as they could they entertained us for a good while right on the street. Of course not part of the NXNE festival, but completely remarkable in reference to our journeys through the Toronto night.