Toronto ON, May 31 – Eardrums ruptured and bass heads jumped in unison on the shoreline of Lake Ontario last Saturday night as TD Echo Beach transformed itself into one massive electronic dance party. Talent of the here and now embraced the up and coming within the EDM scene and it was out of this world. The multi-talented Grammy award-winning Sonny Moore, known to the world by his stage name Skrillex, joined rising French producer DJ Snake and electro/progressive house DJ Henry Fong in a stellar lineup that produced a world class show of entertainment.
You couldn’t have asked for better concert weather. The sun’s rays beamed down on ravers of each gender milling around the arena in their neon tub tops and muscle shirts, high-wasted cut-off shorts, and sparkly DIY-inspired brassieres and fanny packs. At first glance, it appears I have time traveled into a 80s workout video. I travel deeper into the crowd and the spectacle is something else. Hardcore EDM fans in body paint danced in circles around each other and enjoyed the feeling of community.
Orlando/LA-based electro house DJ Henry Fong, a fresh young face on the EDM circuit, opened the show with short, choppy mixes that incorporated 90s hip hop samples that were perfect for a chill summer day. Growling bass and heavy snare snaps echoed throughout the arena and the crowd couldn’t get enough of the exotically tan, dread-rocking sensation.
The sun set and it was time for Grammy nominated French producer DJ Snake to take the stage. DJ Snake, who is signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label, rose to fame in 2013 when the tribal sounds of the dubstep heavy mix “Bird Machine” featuring Alesia attracted followers far and wide. 2014 then became the year of the Snake in the states. His world popular trap-packed track “Turn Down for What” featuring Lil Jon hit airwaves and became an inescapable club anthem. When Lil Jon’s voice boomed through the speakers, concert goers thrashed their hips and shook their arms spastically as if an electrical current entered their body and took control.
Darkness had finally fallen upon TD Echo Beach. The lights of the Toronto skyline twinkled in the distance. Fans rushed to the porta potty lines before it was too late. Skrillex was about to take the stage, and they had been waiting a long time for this man.
The mother ship landed and the lights were blinding, but no one averted their eyes; Skrillex took their pupils hostage. The bass blared across the arena and reached the stars.
Skrillex is the person electro/dubstep/house producers aspire to be. Not just extremely talented, but a genre-defining, cultural pioneer, and self-made at that. A transhumanist spirit is shared by those who attend EDM shows and one can feel it once they enter the community. The 26-year-old has helped foster a culture unbounded by opinion or difference. At Saturday night’s show, the feeling was no different. Fans rocked back and forth and jumped up and down in ritualistic motion. Everyone came together, and it was an amazing night for all.
photos : Jessica Brant
– Jessica Brant