Labour of Love, also known as LoL, is The Guvernment nightclub’s last festival of the summer that kicks off the back-to-school party season. This has been an annual event for 15 years and is still going strong as one of the most popular events to take place in Toronto during Labour Day weekend. This year Labour of Love features headliners such as Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz, Hardwell, Dirty South and more.
I was expecting this year to be a crazy party. Arriving at The Guvernment and seeing belly dancers walking around dancing on stilts, in gold costumes, kicked off my excitement for the night. I was also shocked when the line to get in was, surprisingly, quite fast. Although they had an outdoor smoking area with popcorn and cotton candy machines, photo booth, and a DJ on the back of a truck, I’m disappointed there was no covered tent like last year.
Moving inside, The Kool Haus was decorated with various LED panels that hung down on each wall, immediately turning the huge warehouse space into a flashing, brightly colored, crazy rave. The visuals were absolutely insane, and probably the best visuals I’ve ever seen in the Kool Haus. I am a huge trance fan! I loved the uplifting feeling the trance in the Kool Haus stirred in me, so I stayed in this room the entire first day.
The night started off with Jaytech, a progressive house DJ from Australia. Jaytech is signed to the Anjunabeats sub-label, Anjunadeep, collectively started by the members of Above and Beyond. Jaytech is a rising star in the EDM world and recently released a new album, Multiverse, in August 2012. Jaytech’s performance was unreal. I didn’t want to leave the dance floor for one second. He played a very uplifting and electric set. Soon after Jaytech’s set began, dancers came out on to the three platforms set up across the middle of the Kool Haus floor, quickly entrancing the ravers around the room. I’m always really impressed with The Guvernment Go Go Dancers. They danced off and on all night, giving a chance for the ravers to dance on the platforms as well. When the dancers had the spot light, their moves were flawless moving and flowing perfectly to the beat of each DJ’s music.
This Labour of Love was also the first chance I’ve had to see the trance and EDM legend Paul van Dyk. He has won several awards since 1999, including Best International DJ, Best International Producer, Longest Running DJ in the Top 10 of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s (13 years consecutively) and a Grammy for Best musical Soundtrack for The Dark Knight. Originally a trance producer, Van Dyk now describes his music as EDM. Paul van Dyk brought an upbeat set, and had everyone singing along. He dropped his newly released remix of Linkin Park’s Burn it Down, his own classic track Home and drove the crowd crazy playing Above and Beyond’s Sun and Moon. I suggest that everyone who loves EDM music, even if trance if not your choice genre, go see Paul van Dyk at least once in your lifetime.
The last set I attended this night was Ferry Corsten. It was my favourite act of the night! He was my main reason for attending LoL this year. I saw him play for the first time at The Guvernment on Halloween 2011, and I fell in love. Now I will never miss any of his future Toronto dates. He is not only my favorite producer: he is my favorite DJ. His sets have a constant good vibe feeling. He creates suspense between songs while creating a seamless flow from one song to the next. I floated away to his music with my hands in the air almost the entire time. Apparently, many of the other people in the Kool Haus felt the same. I barely witnessed a second where anyone’s hands were down. Ferry opened with a boom, slowly creating energy in the room as he built up the beat, and driving the crowd crazy. Corsten dropped several of his songs from his newest album “WKND”, included his track featuring Betsie Larkin Not Coming Down, as well as Take Me and Live Forever. He also played his collaboration with Markus Schulz, Loops and Tings, and his newest track with Chicane One Thousand Suns. My all-time favorite moment of the night was when he played the original version of Punk. The crowd went crazy and sang along to the entire song. Ferry’s set definitely increased my expectations for day two.
I miss the days when DJ shows were a real experience and journey into a musical story. I respect all the trance artists that can keep it real, bringing back the old school trance while incorporating the new sound of electronic music. The new age of house music has quickly transformed DJ sets into a hit after hit replay of the top songs on Beatport.The thought, time and talent that went into these LoL shows, however, was unbelievable. The Kool Haus DJs at Labour of Love really brought an amazing atmosphere of uplifting and beautiful music with them this weekend, and now I’m already going crazy with excitement awaiting Armin Van Buuren’s return to The Guvernment on October 6th, 2012.
Leanne Feeney – EDM TOR