NXNE 2012: The Elwins @ The Gladstone Hotel

SATURDAY - Their aren't many bands in Toronto doing whimsical indie pop better than The Elwins these days, so it's not all that surprising to find that the Keswick, Ontario natives were all over North By Northeast. They played five sets at this year's edition of the festival; the fifth came on Saturday night in the ballroom of the Gladstone Hotel, where the whimsy was on full display. They bounced through their catchy, hook-laden guitar pop in front of a charmed crowd and then took things up a notch with their cover of Beyonce's "Countdown" (which translates surprisingly well into an off-kilter indie tune). And they still weren't done. For their big finish, they got the audience involved, not just by teaching them the entire chorus to the final song, but by teaching them a whole series of accompanying gestures. It's not every day you can get a crowd in the heart of West Queen West hipsterdom to sing along to a song. Never mind getting them to pretend they have fox ears and tails. But that is the whimsical power of The Elwins.

Text and photos by Adam Bunch.

You'll find all of our NXNE coverage here.

Adam Bunch is the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at adam@littleredumbrella.com.


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