It's no secret: Toronto crowds are tough to impress. The popular criticism of the city's music fans as crossed-armed screwfaces intensifies at NXNE, where a smorgasbord of artists and styles dilutes the saturation of diehard superfans.
But unlike other festivals, which err on the bearded-guy-with-acoustic-guitar safe side, NXNE is packed with shit-hot noise and punk bands. So while some eyes are inevitably pointed down at Twitter feeds, there are a few showcases that will spark that most sacred of festival rituals: the mosh pit.
Anyone looking to get their clothes sweaty and elbows scraped should plant themselves at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West) on Saturday, June 15. Vancouver punks White Lung whip the crowd into a frenzy at 11 pm, before Danish teens Iceage lay waste with confrontational, controversial post-punk angst at midnight. Then, at 1 am, hometown heroes Fucked Up bring the warm fuzzies with their group-hug hardcore. NXNE wristband or $15.
If you can't get into that buzzy showcase, a number of local feedback addicts are playing elsewhere. Hellaluya, Teen Tits Wild Wives and Hussy scuzz up Parts & Labour (1566 Queen West) on Thursday, June 13 at 10, 11 pm and midnight ($12), while Captain Beefheart-loving spazz rockers Thighs play Handlebar (159 Augusta) on Friday, June 14 (1 am, $15) and the Tranzac (292 Brunswick) on Saturday, June 15 (9 pm, $10).