Toronto experienced an epic sold-out party from Anjunabeats‘ new Afterdark concept on Halloween weekend. And, I must say, it did not disappoint.
Anjunabeats introduced their Afterdark shows this fall touring in North America. It kickstarted at Echostage in DC early October and then headed to San Francisco, Tennessee, Chicago, and Toronto, to end in Boston. Anjuna delivered as promised: “against the backdrop of lasers and stunning visuals an all-night takeover that celebrated the sounds of Anjunabeats: past, present and future“. The show in Toronto took place on October 28th, with a stacked lineup consisting of Alex Sonata & TheRio, Bexxie, Gabriel & Dresden, Kasablanca and Mat Zo.
Toronto has become a city where all the big names in EDM are throwing epic shows. The EDM space is not as big as it is in America, and is considered intimate at indoor venues. History, being one of the larger venues, holds approximately 2,500 people. Situated on the east side of the city, History is a state-of-the-art place for live music and entertainment. Let’s dive into the artists and the amazing music we heard during the night.
Bexxie burst into the House music scene a few years ago with Anjunabeats. The rising star kicked things off for the night with immense energy. Her hour-long set had the crowd settling in and grooving to a few originals by herself, such as ‘In Your Hands‘, and ‘Find My Way‘ to name a few. Bexxie dropped 3 IDs and a killer unreleased remix of Faithless X MEDUZA & GOODBOYS – ‘Insomnia vs. Piece Of Your Heart‘. If you haven’t heard Bexxie live, you should. She was the perfect start to an amazing night. She set the floor and mood for our beloved next artists.
Alex Sonata & TheRio
Up next were the Scottish-Italian duo, Alex Sonata & TheRio. But by the time the boys were on, History was bustling with energy. The next hour was pure Progressive Trance with them throwing not one but three IDs (!) at the very start. They then went on to grace our ears with yet another three IDs through their set. What an amazing hour we had with astonishing unreleased music and their originals ‘Hanalei‘ and ‘ Breath Of The Wild‘. They also played a kickass remix of Andrew Bayer‘s ‘Equal‘ and then the collaboration by Seven Lions and Above & Beyond, ‘Over Now‘. Another track I really enjoyed listening live was the new banger by Jason Ross ‘Never Alone‘. Overall an amazing set. Up next was none other than classic G&D.
Gabriel & Dresden
Does this duo even need an introduction? Their reputation supersedes them. Of course, we all love the Classic Trance set that we had the pleasure of hearing. We were now into the halfway mark of the night, and I couldn’t believe the second track was their classic mix of ‘Beautiful Things‘. The crowd went wild, we are so used to hearing this track closer to the end of their set. As they progressed it all took a dark turn as G&D played an unreleased mashup by them of ‘Consciousness vs. Syren’, by Anyma, Chris Avantgarde & Rebūke. You had to be there to see how the crowd’s excitement and energy levels peaked. G&D graced us with two IDs and their mashup of ‘Turn Up The Lights‘ and the Cosmic Gate remix of ‘Only Road‘. They closed out their excellent set with what I think is currently the most played remix by Victor Ruiz, a flashback EDM Classic ‘1998‘.
We were into the second last set of the night and the crowd was unreal. All you could see were happy faces, singing to the tunes and just an Anjuna-happy vibe overall. Up came my favourite set of the night lovely Mat Zo. The set consisted of the maestro’s originals and remixes. I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 IDs he played throughout his set. One track that surprised me was an unreleased ID remix of The Chemical Brothers – ‘MAH‘. You could see the crowd just jump up and down and the visuals of this new Anjuna concept were unreal and so in sync with the music. He ended his set with one of my favourite tracks, a collaboration with Above & Beyond ‘Always Do‘. It’s always a pleasure to watch this legend play live.
The Kasablanca boys are no strangers to the Anjunabeats label. Their live sets are like no other with the singing, live synths and just an experience that blows you away. They took the decks at a little past midnight with an electrified crowd and began with an original ‘Alive‘, one of their popular tracks. They went on to play an impressive six IDs. The whole set with the live singing just gave me goosebumps. If you saw me in the crowd you’d have seen me screaming my lungs out to ‘Run‘, their collaboration with Lane 8, and their mindblowing remix of a near and dear track ‘Black Room Boy‘. The crowd was just left asking for more, and so they decided to close the unforgettable night with their edit of ‘Opus No. 1‘ and the esteemed ‘Am I Dreaming‘.
What a stacked lineup for a perfect Halloween weekend up here in Toronto. I hope you can catch the last Anjunabeats After Dark show of the season in Boston on November 17. Before that, if you are craving all things Anjuna, Anjunadeep is heading to Red Rocks this weekend for their Open Air gig. Stay tuned to EDMTunes for all your latest updates in the music world.