Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Remembering NXNE: Fucked Up (pt. 1)

Last year, I really wouldn't have even called myself a huge fan of Fucked Up. I liked The Chemistry of Common Life okay enough, but I was never totally in love with it. So when I heard Fucked Up was releasing a follow-up I honestly wasn't that excited. After I heard Queen of Hearts a lot of that changed and I started anticipating David Comes To Life like a Fucked Up super-fan, but that's not really the point. I didn't plan on loving this band, it just sort of happened.

I've said a lot in the past of how I feel about David Comes To Life, but never here in a blog format. I just think it's a wonderfully executed album from start to finish. Damian's super-villian screams can destroy the world and the wall of guitars give me goosebumps just thinking about them. If you add in the ambitious narrative and simple fact that I love a lot of the songs on the album, it all amounts to an album I'm willing to give an Easy 10 and declare my Album of The Year (sorry if I spoiled that for you.). Speaking of the narrative on David Comes To Life, I think it's the biggest asset this album has. The story of David's love and loss and the stages of grief he goes through on that album's 18 tracks was simply powerful. I think it's a relate-able and coherent story, and as rewarding as you let it be. 

I had always planned on taking my vacation in Toronto for NXNE because it was a cheap festival ($50!) and nearby (2 hours!), but when Fucked Up was added to the bill I couldn't even contain my excitement. You see - I had been watching every live video of the band on YouTube I could in awe. Nothing in the world looked more fun to me than being in the middle of all of that chaos, and I needed to experience it for myself. Often things you look forward to in life don't live up to the insane amount of hype you give them, in this case though... I don't even think I hyped it enough.

I took the TTC Subway to the venue expecting to have problems locating the festival but to my delight the stage was no less than 100 yards from the station. People commuting to or from work were going to stumble onto a music festival that I had to travel for, how awesome is that? I staked my claim to the front of the stage and waited with great anticipation. I resisted the temptation of going into the Eaton Centre (one of North America's largest malls) and waited. Oh my the anticipation, I felt so much tingling in my arms I thought maybe I was having a heart attack (that would've sucked). No offense to Rusty and Metz but yeah. I didn't even hear anything you guys did and I probably resented you a little for not being Fucked Up.

Eventually Fucked Up took the stage, and at this point I notice that a high-school kid is hopping up and down on the guardrail, I realize that am I'm doing it too a couple of feet behind him. This movement is completely involuntary. Damian is swinging his microphone cord in a large circle while the band begins to play Queen of Hearts. The crowd seems docile, until that is... Damian starts screaming and barreling towards us. The crowd that I hadn't even seen dance or do anything beyond clapping for the opening bands is immediately whipped up into a frenzy, all of a sudden we're at a Minor Threat show in the early 80s. That moment of extreme intensity is documented below.


Come back next week where I'll conclude my recap of this incredible show

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