It’s been a while since the main room at The Guvernment has been reserved for strictly trance fans, but this past Saturday, August 18th, that was precisely the case. Contact 2012 was stacked with a highly talented, in-demand lineup consisting of Mark Oliver, Sied Van Riel, W&W, Sean Tyas, Simon Patterson and Ashley Wallbridge. Needless to say, the line outside the entertainment complex was already huge at the midnight hour as ravers anxiously awaited their entry.
Not surprisingly, resident DJ Mark Oliver knows his Toronto audience – by the time he was done the opening set, the main room was buzzing and temperatures were rising. Everyone was pumped for the musical journey ahead of them, starting with a 75min high-energy set by fan-favourite, Sied Van Riel. With hits like Orjan Nilsen’s Magic, Ummet Ozcan’s The Box, and his own mix of Armin Van Buuren’s Fine Without You, Sied had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Hearts were racing and kandi-clad wrists were pumping faster and harder than usual for that time, it was barely 1am and The Guvernment was off the hook.
When he was done, Sied handed the baton to W&W, who elevated the party even higher by feeding us one slammin’ track after another, including their very own “Invasion” – the familiar anthem of A State of Trance 550, “Moscow” and “Epic”. Comprised of both new EDM lovers and long-time trance fans, the main room was steaming hot as bodies were jumping high and wide. An incredible Guvernment-style light show accompanied the set while the dynamic duo partied on stage just like the rest of us. We even saw glimpses of Sied rocking it out behind the scenes – he couldn’t get enough either.
At the close of W&W, the audience was yearning for what was supposed to be Simon Patterson, but we quickly adjusted our expectations when Sean Tyas took over instead. We later saw a tweet from The Guvernment explaining that the two had requested to switch sets. Why? We still haven’t figured that out, but it was fine with us, as long as the epic music would continue. As Tyas got started, fans noticed a shift from what was expected to be a deep trance set to what people are now describing as “commercial” or “mainstream” music. As Deadmau5 and dubstep were blasting, the hardcore trance fans found refuge on The Guverment patio where they were met with a light breeze and familiar trance family faces. A break from all the dancing was needed. Regardless of the musical genre, the party continued both inside and on the patio as Tyas played with the crowd and dished out harder beats as his set continued.
The transition to Simon Patterson was seamless as he continued with the hard hitting beats, but progressed into a techy trance vibe that had even the sober folks getting down and dirty. It was unfortunate, however, that the sound system unexpectedly turned off three times during Patterson’s set. Luckily the crowd was understanding of the technical problems and clapped their own beat until it started up again, we are Canadian after all! Each time, Patterson picked the party back up and continued to put smiles on the faces of Toronto’s rave scene, which continued right into Ashley Wallbridge’s 5am set.
Wallbridge was graciously saluted by a room full of hardcore fans who were dreading the end of this musical journey. Busting out tunes like Darude’s Sandstorm, and the Ben Fold Festival mix of John O’Callaghan’s Big Sky, Wallbridge had the crowd on fire. After an hour of the heated set, he grabbed the mic to reassure the crowd he’d be spinning past his 6am cut-off time. Thank goodness he could read his crowd – no one was prepared to leave at the 6am mark. Unfortunately though, the party had to end at some point, and half an hour later Wallbridge called it a night. He was clearly impressed with his Toronto fans as he later posted a photo on Twitter of the raging crowd who refused to stop when he did, “this is why The_Guvernment remains one of my favourite clubs in the world” he boasted. Wallbridge was kind enough to step down from the DJ booth and offer photos and autographs for the ones who lasted all night to see him. What a guy. What a night.
The next day, Facebook updates and tweets were full of praises for Ink Events who once again, hosted an event for the books. Days later we are all still buzzing as we reflect on the epicness that was Contact 2012.
Up next at The Guvernment, Labour of Love. See you there.
Anjali Handa – EDM TOR