Weekend Warrior: five must-see shows taking place this NXNE weekend
By Sabrina Nanji
The Flaming Lips
Probably equally as weird as they are awesome, The Flaming Lips are playing at Yonge-Dundas Square this Saturday and will surely prove to be the highlight of this year’s NXNE festival. In the past, their psychedelic, far-out sets have included spaceships, puppets, loads of confetti and, of course, Wayne Coyne’s “Zorb.” Fingers crossed that some of their collaborative partners such as Bon Iver, Yoko Ono, Nick Cave or Ke$ha make an appearance (but those pink robots — not so much).
Eight and a Half
Behold the holy triumvirate of rock gods: former Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff has teamed up with former The Stills members Liam O’Neil and Dave Hamelin to form Eight and a Half. Though they’ve taken on more of a lo-fi, electro, melancholy vibe, their self-titled album on the Arts & Crafts label has been getting serious nods. Get into the gritty synth mood for Yonge-Dundas Square tonight by streaming their entire album.
Okay, we had to sneak in one Luminato show (we’ll make the exception for Dan Mangan). Saturday afternoon, the Vancouver folk singer-songwriter will be at Pecault Square. He’s received Juno nominations for his past albums, and his latest, Oh Fortune, was just long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize. And if his video for “Robots” isn’t the most adorable thing ever, you have a heart of stone. Since the show is at 2 p.m., you’ll have plenty of time to catch The Flaming Lips, too.
Despite being only 21-years-old, Brad Oberhofer — along with his band, Oberhofer — plays amped-up jagged pop music that will have Lee’s Palace grooving on the dance floor tonight and again at Yonge-Dundas Square tomorrow. The Brooklyn-based band plays unconventional instruments such as the glockenspiel, strings and piano — which will make for one eclectic, crowd-pleasing show. Besides, any group that lists Bon Jovi as their muse is okay by us.
Raekwon and Ghostface Killah
Legendary Wu-Tang Clan pioneers Raekwon and Ghostface Killah will be closing the NXNE fest on Sunday. They’re pretty much the godfathers of modern hip-hop music, so expect it to be a massive show. They’ve just celebrated the Clan’s 20th anniversary and are rumoured to be starring in an Ol’ Dirty Bastard biopic, so we’re hoping for some old school jams. While some of their lyrics may not exactly be kid-friendly, you could always bring home a toy.