- Top 100
July 16 2012
On Friday the 13th, THE dubstep heavyweight, Sonny Moore, AKA Skrillex hit Toronto for the first stop of his cross Canada Full Flex Express train tour. He rocked Fort York. Hard.
I’ve never been to Fort York/Garrison Common before for a musical event, and it was a really great venue to go to. It’s in the heart of downtown, close to Union Station and on a streetcar route. It was a hot, humid Friday, and the venue had ample amounts of shade to chill under. It was close to the lake, which allowed for a bit of a breeze as well.
Anyways, lets get to the MUSIC. The crowned prince of dubstep (who DJ’s in a spaceship throne!) was supported by Pretty Lights, Diplo, Grimes, Hundred Waters, KOAN Sound, and Tokimonsta. Unfortunately I missed Tokimonsta’s set and KOAN was finishing up by the time I arrived (thanks, 9 to 5 job!). Both of these artists are making some sweet sounds, and I really dig Tokimonsta, she’s creating some really dynamic music these days.
I got on site in enough time to see Hundred Waters, who are a five piece indie rock band from Florida. Their music has a cool electronic vibe to it, but not in the traditional EDM sense; it’s glitchier, more atmospheric. They definitely put out a relaxing vibe, and a live band is great to watch at the beginning of the event, because its tough for an audience to show up and just start dancing while the sun’s still out.
Up next was Vancouver born, Montreal based musician Grimes. She’s recieved a lot of blog buzz and acclaim during the first half of the year, and going on tour across her native land supporting a big name seems like a good call; spreading her sounds to a broader audience.
Her set had some technical difficulties, causing her to stop mid way through a song but no one seemed that angry. The crowd even encouraged her to chug her beer during the downtime, I made a gif to prove it! Vancouver producer Blood Diamonds, whose got some sweet grooves in his own catalogue, took over the decks next. He’s apparently 6 foot 9, and rocked a menacing cape and sunglasses! In retrospect, it was probably his first time playing on such a large stage, he was likely nervous!
Midway through her set, a gang of rambunctious dancers appeared on stage. They blew some bubbles, supersoaked the crowd, and just spread some good vibes!
Up next was Diplo, one half of Major Lazer, producer of crossover mainstream hits, and founder of one of the coolest record labels in the music industry, Mad Decent. If you’ve read my regular weekly blog, East Coastin’, you’d know that I’m a huge fan of the music released on that label! Needless to say, I was excited and Diplo didn’t dissappoint!
Blazing through a bunch of Caribbean grooves, his set was packed with hip hop, moombahton, some trap, house, even alternative rock! When he played a remix of Song #2 by Blur, the place went off! It’s really cool when someone finds “drops” in other music (ex the Woo-Hoo part of Song #2) that wasn’t necessarily intended to be played in a dj set!
His set was so hype that he got in to some crowd surfing hi-jinx!
He finished his set with Major Lazer’s latest track, Get Free.
Soon, Pretty Lights came out to rock the Garrison Common. His hip hop, jazz, and funk sample influenced grooves really got the crowd going. He had a fantastic lighting set up too. It was, well, an assortment of pretty LED lights!
I’m happy that he played one of his songs from “way back”, from his first full length, 2006′s Taking Up Your Precious Time. I hope the crowd realized that Avicii, with all due respect to his immense talent and work ethic, wasn’t the first person to sample Etta James!
He finished his set with his 2011 hit, I know the truth, which has been pushed him into further success after he played it at Bonnaroo in 2011.
There was a longer delay between Pretty Light’s set and You Know Who’s, but it was well worth the wait. With a black curtain covering the stage, his crew was putting together his technobrega/starfighter inspired DJ booth and the sound tech was probably turning up the eight 6.5 foot tall towers of subwoofers, which were about to create over 8000 bass faces.
Well, the curtain dropped and there was a countdown on the stage’s jumbotron. When the clock struck zero, Skrillex came out to take his rightful place in the mothership booth, and the crowd roared!
His set was equal parts party and pandemonium. In the photo pit at the front, people were squished so closely together that people were getting pulled out by security and escorted to the back of the crowd. It was a hot, sweaty, fun, bassy, mess of a time; like any dubstep show should be.
Skrillex’s set was, obviously, jam packed with his originals and remixes. At certain points he dropped some heavy hip hop which the crowd dug. With the front of the crowd being a big sweaty mess, nearer to the back people were just having a great time grooving along to the music, popping off awesome/hilarious dance moves. All in all, a sweet show and a great celebration and embodiment of the North American Dubstep/EDM phenomenon!