Relentlessly changing venues
Another music post from DJ Relentless about finding a new home.
So, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about changing my habits when it comes to the Toronto Nightlife. Well, boy did I ever!
I had been wanting to hear some real House Music. The kind that I grew to love in NYC. The kind that was a direct descendent of Disco and R&B. Where names like Tom Moulton, Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan and Kevin Saunderson were considered pioneers. Because if you think that folks like Deadmau5, Tiesto and David Guetta are House DJ’s you definitely have an education missing in House.
I was telling my friend Marty Rotman about the blog I had written and he said “You gotta come to the Twlight Zone Reuion at Revival on Coctober 6th.” He explained to me that this was the place for the House Headz who truly understood and loved House Music. And the feature for the event was a performance by House legend, Adeva. I had never seen Adeva live before and became excited. Her hits like “Warning”, “Musical Freedom” and of course her cover of Aretha Franklin’s calssic “Respect” were regular mainstays on my turntables back in the day.
Now, I had never been to the spot called Revival. I knew by the address that it was somewhere near El Convento Rico on the other side of town. So, my husband and I left early to make sure we got a good spot in line. I was certain that there would be a huge line up to see such a diva. But to our surprise, we were the first ones there. Good thing too. We got to hear her sound check. Even outside you could hear that she still had the chops to belt out her tunes.
We were first to get inside. The set up was kinda genius. First they send you down into the basement where there is coat check and a small lounge. There is a DJ spinning to get everyone in the mood and ready for the main floor. It was amazing to see people actually walk in and start dancing immediately. None of this stick your head in the door and because the floor isn’t packed turn around and come back later. These folks came to party. And then it dawned on me, this was an older crowd. There was none of this ackward high school bullshit where I can’t be seen on the floor by myself. The men and women who came through those doors were coming together to experience a community. A community of all races and nationalities. A community of all sexual preferences. A community of music lovers. That was the feeling that I had missed about going out. I didn’t care about what anyone was going to see me do on the floor. I just wanted to dance and hear some music that inspired me to be free. And although I wasn’t feeling great since I was fighting off a cold, I didn’t dance at all. But listening to the music brought back all the memories of my early days in The Big Apple.
And in that moment, I think I realized that I had found a new home. There were several DJ’s who played throughout the night. Very great selections from their House catalogues rang out over the system. Although I loved the music, some of the choices of when and where to mix were not my favorites. And the effect of the Bass-Kill was a little overdone. But it was just good to hear some true House Music. There was no Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Beyonce or Kesha. The Twink Pop Convention that I spin for every week was nowhere to be found. How refreshing! Just adults listening to adult music.
Now...don’t get me wrong. I love my job as a DJ. In fact, I love the challenges that are presented to me every night I work. If I am able to give them what they want and still slip in at leas tfive tracks I wanted to hear, I feel like I have succeeded. To go in and make their five to ten songs interesting and program around the typical request and remind them of what a dance party is supposed to be is my job. I have a few customers who especially come in for the last hour of my shift because they know that is when I am request-free and I’m really going to take them on a journey. That’s when I have my fun as a DJ!
I often hear people in my age group complain about the music today sucks. That the kids out now are obnoxious. That there is no place to go. Well, since I have been here, I have been trying to create a space for my age group. I say....don’t let the kids take over every spot! If you show up somewhere and you are spending money on drinks, they have to cater to you! I feel like the people in my age group have given up. They could start going to a spot and creating their own groove. This reunion was a mixed affair of straight and gay, but there is no reason that the gay crowd over 35 that loves House Music can’t have a space of their own (without it being a fetish or themed night for DILF’s).
After going to this event it has inspired me to work on my own House party. Last week I had a long conversation with one of the owners of CLUB 120 and he loved my idea. So be on the look out for an event coming soon.
But going to this event was a reminder that there is a scene out there for me. And of course, Adeva was phenomenal! She didn’t go on until almost 2 AM, but I’m sure that was by design to make as much in liquor sales. But take my word for it.....she was worth the wait! She opened with her 1997 UK hit “Where Is The Love?” and then served up “Respect”. She tried to do “Warning” but there was some drunk girl on the stage who threw an empty plastic water bottle which hit her. She promptly stopped the music and told her that she was from NY and that she would get hurt if she did it again. Adeva started the song again and this bitch threw another one. So, Adeva stopped the track and had the girl removed from the stage. She was so upset that she decided to just go to the next track which was an unexpected cover of “Caught Up In A One Night Love Affair”. She then rounded things off with “I Thank You”. And then I guess she felt bad that we were cheated out of a song so she came back for an encore of “Musical Freedom” into “Respect” again.
The whole show reminded me of something I always say....”We need to support our performers while they are here!” I am so glad that I got the opportunity to see Adeva live on stage. If there is an artists (big or small) that you believe in, go support their shows and give them some love. If we don’t, they might not be around when we go looking for them. Sometimes your love and support is all an artist needs to continue.
So, as another weekend comes I am looking forward to my next adventure. What other scene are out there? What hidden treasures of the Toronto nightlife have I not discovered yet? I will definitely keep you posted.