Photographs by Fernando Paiz.
Hollerado, Born Ruffians, Doldrums, The Holy Gasp at Yonge-Dunas Square, NXNE 2015.
Arriving a few minutes late for the start of the Born Ruffians set at Yonge-Dundas Square I had to weasel my way to a better spot in the crowd. Unfortunately that was a bit difficult due to the very large sponsorship structures that were placed half way back from the stage causing the viewing area to be cut in half. In past years booths were only off to the side, but this year with the booths being so big and so in the way the only way you could see the stage or screens was to walk around to the side of Dundas Square Road by the Hard Rock Café. With the Hollerado/Born Ruffians/Doldrums set only announced this past week I imagine the crowd was much smaller than YDS shows normally are. I expect the New Pornographers and Shad sets to be much more chaotic and out of hand crowd wise.
The set was a decent one, but one that lacked their usual energy. Bassist Mitch Derosier was his usual hyperactive self, but I couldn’t help but feel the set was missing singer Luke Lalonde’s extra gear he normally brings to shows. The band remarked about how it was their first time playing YDS and that they were all very happy to be there. All of their most popular songs from their last album were played and the sound was fine, but no extra punch. Something you have to expect from a free outdoor venue in the early evening.
The band played a new song from their as of yet unreleased album with Lalonde playing an acoustic guitar but still featuring their trademark indie pop rock sound. The set ended with the fan favourite Needle from Birthmarks, which had a mini sing along from the crowd and a few lighters held up in the air. If you are a super fan of bands playing YDS it is probably better to skip these shows and wait for a proper club show, but if you are a casual music lover and are looking for something that is free and fun, YDS NXNE shows are right up your alley.