It was July 13…hotter than the gates of hell and me and my friend Steph were excited to get our daytime rave on at Fort York Garrison Commons. We were pumped for a show full of acts…the Toronto installation of the FullFlex Express Tour thrown by Embrace.
After deciding what the hell to wear that would look good but still be comfortable in the heat, we taxied our asses over to the venue and were getting more excited as the beats echoed under the Gardiner Expressway. I think we arrived at about 5/530 and the line was light and easy to get through.
We skipped our way toward the bass and found a stage with an awesome grimey dubstep act. According to the screen above the stage they were Koan Sound. It was dirty danceable dubstep that got me all sweaty right off the bat. Its ok, I wasn’t looking to pick up 16+ ravers anyway 😛
Before too long their set was over 🙁 I guess we just caught the last bit. But WAIT! Everyone was scurrying behind the stage to a much larger stage further east on the grounds. It had a more flashy set up and what looked like a band on it ready to rock out.
After following an act like Koan Sound, I thought this act must be ready to blow everyone away…at the very least keep everyone dancing. And trust me, people came to DANCE…the energy these lil ravers had was thick enough to cut with a knife.
WOMP, WOMP, WOOOMMMPP…Hundred Waters dropped the dancing vibe ball. At first people were still sticking to the stage, hoping that maybe they will bang one out after all…but soon most people moved to the drinking section and the hill on the side to park themselves. I can’t really say it’s the band’s fault that people were disappointed…who decided on the order anyway? Their vibe was way chill and eclectic. Not the act to put on after Koan Sound.
Hundred Waters’ sound reminded me of sort of spa music. I was overhearing other hill-sitters and I heard comments like “Ugh, I feel like I’m at a funeral…” and “I swear to god I feel like I should be getting a massage!” People were totally just waiting for their act to be over. Steph and I agreed, they should have played earlier, or Koan Sound later, just the order in this case was FUCKED.
Then, we experienced the first intermission type break of the evening. The music stopped, and while the band was tearing down there was just some music being played over the speakers. Sometimes it was rock, sometimes it was Bob Marley….but they lasted a good 15-20 minutes.
I just want to say THAT I AM SO GLAD I WASN’T ON DRUGS. If I was, I would be totally pissed. First Hundred Waters killing the buzz…then an intermission….man…NO FLOW. Sorry, all you pill droppers, I really felt for you.
At this point Steph and I realized that we really shouldn’t have worried about what to wear so much. Partying on a dirt pile was doing nothing for our look, lol!
OK, Intermission over…now for Grimes. I had only heard one track of theirs before so I was ready to be edumacated. The blonde tech genre-bending duo was bringing some beats, not exactly high energy, but any energy at all was welcome after Hundred Waters.
Ugh oh, another FAIL. Claire Boucher, the vocalist was getting super pissed because the sound was SHIT. Her vocals were barely audible and everyone could hear her shouting to get the monitor re-positioned. It was a damn shame because, from what we could hear, her vocals were stellar and not being able to hear them properly was making the music sound incomplete. My heart went out to them, their performance was totally half mast because of technical difficulties 🙁 But, they did play Steph’s favorite Grimes track:
Another lame intermission and then came on Diplo. The crowd was craving his energy and he delivered. I heard him play on Holy Ship! and at the Holy Ship! pre-party in January. I always find his sound to be a bit comercial-y…but that’s what the kids like these days I guess. In all honesty he played exactly what the crowd needed. Everyone was dancing and having a wicked time. He even dropped a few familiar older top 40 tunes and the crowd ATE IT UP. Diplo may not be my regular cup of dance, but he certainly saved the day after a couple lower energy acts.
As expected there was another intermission. Totally ruining the flow and the rave kids buzz, but whatever…what do I know about what makes a party good? Pretty Lights came on the decks. I was excited to hear what would be dished out because I heard a decent set from Ultra. I was disappointed. PLM’s set didn’t seem to have much traction…and I was bored. The biggest cheer from the crowd was when he announced that his girlfriend was Canadian. At this point, Steph and I and some people around us that I overheard were just waiting for Skrillex to come on.
The time came, after another boring intermission of course. At least there was a decent sing-along with Buffalo Soldier. The stage was even re-arranged and made all trippy just for Skrillex’s performance. OOOooh that’s what they were doing! Of course he started strong and was Skrillexing out. People were going nuts. Finally, who they came for was playing and there weren’t any more lame intermissions to get through.
I’ve seen Skrillex at WEMF and Holy Ship! so I wasn’t completely blown away, only because I have been before. It was Steph’s first time so I was happy to accompany her for her first Skrillex experience. His sound is unmistakable. But…Steph wasn’t feeling good and I guess his sound didn’t impress her enough to stick it out til the end so we left a few tracks into his set.
I hate to be negative, but I have to be honest. I could have gone to better parties that day. The overall flow was disappointing..and if you’re going to throw a party in a dirt pile it best be off the chain…where…this wasn’t.