NXNE 2017: Day Two Recap13 July 2017 / by Nam-An Dinh (author)
Day two of NXNE Port Lands began with some ominous looking clouds in the sky. This didn’t stop Toronto-based pop songstress Ebhoni from kicking the day off with her catchy R&B tinged songs. As Beach Season took the stage next, the music festival gods answered Toronto music fans’ prayers; midway through Beach Season’s lush ambient sounding set, the clouds cracked open and sunshine poured onto Port Lands. As more people began to arrive, things slowly started to pick up.
The lineup for day two continued the eclectic and diverse mix of music that attendees got a taste of on the previous day. Everything from guitar rock, ambient R&B and synth-laden indie pop to flow-heavy hip-hop could be heard throughout the day.
Saturday was also the first full day of Port Lands. Friday’s festivities kicked off later into the day. Thus we began to see some of criticisms from last year’s Port Lands put to the test. Of note, line ups for food were all but non-existent. Last year’s festival saw only a handful of food trucks, causing long waits for food. With the addition of many more vendors this year, getting a bite to eat quickly before you ran off to catch the next act wasn’t a problem. Free water stations were added this year as well, meaning one didn’t have to pay the hefty $3 per bottle price tag to stay hydrated. With the sun beating down and barely any shade, this was a welcome change from the previous year.
Performances were high energy for the entire day. The start of Toronto’s electro-pop group BLAJK saw frontman Jordan Radics sitting in a Sephora chair due a recent ankle injury; but this did not keep him from pouring on the charisma.
Mississauga-based emcee John River took a moment during his set to wax poetic about race in a poignant spoken word piece, before getting the audience moving again and closing out with an acapella flow.
As the day stretched into the evening, the dance party started to pick up. During the start of Tinie Tempah’s set, even the media personnel in the photo pit - ever the stoic professionals - felt the need to break out into dance.
Kaytranada closed out the night with his usual catchy, dancy DJ set, playing tracks from his debut LP 99.9% as well as other remixes.
As the Kaytranada wrapped up, day two of Port Lands ended on a high, but with a little uncertainty. Forecasts for Sunday called for lightening and thunderstorms, what was to be expected for day 3?