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Tales from the NXNE Iggy Pop Mosh Pit at Yonge and Dundas Square

by Becca Lemire
Photos by Polyester Red
NXNE secured an epic guest to perform a free show this past Saturday, June 19th, and mayhem hit Yonge-Dundas Square when Iggy arrived on-stage at around 9:30pm. To add to the already thick aroma of smog floating around downtown after another 20+ degree day, I can only imagine the smell deep inside the crowd, or what was also described as a living, breathing entity that would eat you whole if a weak one dare enter. I personally have a phobia of getting punched in the face, so I stayed far away and was delighted afterwards with several rowdy eyewitness accounts from people who were up front and centre. Iggy put on an amazing show and sounded great, blessing the crowd with his kind thanks.

One friend of mine got there at around 5pm to reserve a prime spot and watched the other bands (Surfer Blood, Wavves, The Raveonettes) while swigging Rusty Nails (Drambuie and scotch) out of a flask. 20 minutes before Iggy was supposed to hit the stage, nature called in the form of a roaring lion and the poor guy was forced to alleviate himself in a plastic bottle someone had. Even if he wanted to, there was no way of getting out he said. Crammed in between the crowd, he had nowhere to put it after, and jokes about hurling it backwards (lid on) aside, he was forced to tuck it into his pant leg for fear of it getting stomped on. It was safely disposed of after the show. Now that’s some NXNE dedication. Someone else described to me in great detail the experience of having a large Greek man’s sweaty armpit in his face. I heard from everyone that as soon as Mr. Pop himself came out onstage, the entire crowd compressed into half the space to get closer to the front, and people from all directions came swarming closer and closer. Apparently the crowd stretched down Dundas and up Yonge. I’m really surprised more people didn’t get beat up, from the sounds of it.

After seeing his wife’s hair get intentionally pulled, a doting husband grabbed the guys face and pushed him into the crowd. To all of you who went and went close to the stage, you guys are brave, brave music fans and Iggy Pop lovers! I appreciate your dedication, and loved the stories. Thanks to Polyester Red for providing photos of the crowds right before the show started. Brave soul, and the only price she payed for bringing her camera in was losing her lens cap.

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