Continuing in the fine tradition of years past, the MONDOarts department dispatched three writers to cover this year’s Nuit Blanche and their escapades during said event. Enjoy!
By Jessie Davis
Photos by Kevin Lynn
We swore it wouldn’t happen again this year, yet here we were, 11:30 on Saturday night, completely unprepared for the evening. My partner and I also swore we’d go it alone this year so that we wouldn’t be at the mercy of a slow-moving, impatient group, yet somehow found ourselves amidst a gaggle twice the size of the one we traveled with last year. How did this happen? It seems that Nuit Blanche has become more of a chance to socialize and reconnect than a celebration of art – due in no small part, I suspect, to the fact that exhibits are so spaced out that we spend more time wandering around the city chatting than actually seeing art*.
We started at Nathan Phillips Square to see Daniel Lanois’ Later That Night At The Drive-In and arrived just in time to hear three of the new Neil Young tracks he showcased. Standing there surrounded by people in the middle of Toronto’s nucleus, I stood alone, eyes closed, swaying and swooning under Young’s spell. The projections were helpful as we neared the stage and found it nearly impossible to see Lanois but for the mirrored crane-held ceiling showing us a reverse bird’s-eye view of the setup. As Young’s last song finished, Lanois began an ethereal, haunting solo guitar piece before welcoming Trixie Whitley to play and sing some bluesy alt-country tunes with him. A lovely sound, but we were becoming restless. One friend, on his first-ever Nuit Blanche adventure (and having more experience at electronic music festivals) joked, “Where’s the techno tent?” and a few moments later, we began to make out the dull thud of bass from a location just north of us that begged investigation. Read the rest of this entry »