You know those nights when you don’t even have to question whether you’ll have the time of your life? You just know that the party will blow your mind? The second day of Labour of Love (or as we affectionately call it online, LoL) by Ink Events was that. If you are not familiar with the outrageousness that is LoL, check out our other reviews (links at the bottom of the article). Being a self-proclaimed trance junkie, I knew I’d be spending the night in Kool Haus to see Glenn Morrison, Gareth Emery and Markus Schulz, and that I did.
With the right gear on – flat, closed-toed shoes (girls AND guys: you never want to wear open-toes at a Guvernment party), mini cross-body purse, and super huge false lashes, I was ready to roll. The Kool Haus line moved rather quickly considering it was so huge. Either that, or we were just really entertained by the full aerial show going on outside.
Either way, it took almost no time to get in, and when we did, Glen Morrison had just hit the decks. With a mix of electro hits, Morrison had the crowd singing to Zedd’s Spectrum, dancing away to Pryda’s Allien, and certainly jumping to the sounds of House of Pain’s Jump Around. That track was definitely a surprise, but I was happy to see everyone rolled with the DJ and welcomed the sound of the 1990’s. As the party tracks played, Kool Haus filled up quite nicely. By the time his set came to a close, Morrison played with the crowd and threw in Queen’s We Will Rock You. Again, I was impressed when almost no one seemed to mind.
(Photo by: Anjali Handa)
Next up was big bad Gareth Emery, who I’ve now seen three times in Toronto this year. Gareth gave us exactly what we predicted – chart-topping anthems that are slightly overplayed but we still enjoy because we all know the words and the exact moments when the bass will drop. Of course, Gareth didn’t miss the opportunity to play The Saga and other hits like Ellie Goulding’s Lights (Bassnectar remix) and Ferry Corsten’s Live Forever. To be honest, this Gareth set was very similar to what he played at Veld in the Bacardi tent. We heard some Darude, Above & Beyond, and of course Gareth’s own Tokyo and Sanctuary. It was great party music, but by the time Concrete Angel played I was ready to move on to something darker, dirtier, and definitely sexier.
Enter Markus Schulz (and the crowd goes wild). There was no question that the majority of the crowd was waiting for this moment. The “Unicorn Slayer” himself emerged from the dark and took over the decks to take us on a ride we’d never forget. Following suit from the previous DJs, Markus started his set with chart toppers from Orjan Nilsen, KhoMha, and of course he showcased a few tracks from his latest album “Scream”. We heard Loops & Tings, Digital Madness and Triotonic along with Ummet Ozcan’s The Box, which has been making big waves this past summer, and 4 Strings’ Cheesecake which is always a hit. By the time he was ready to play W&W and Marcel Woods’ Trigger the slayer was itching for a first bite. A paper unicorn brought in by a serious Schulz fan was lowered from the ceiling and you better believe our hero pulled out a spear and slayed that poor thing apart. Pieces of paper unicorn flew into the crowd as they hurried to catch photos and videos of the moment.
Getting lost in the music is easy when you trust the DJ. Sometimes all you have to do is close your eyes and listen. I remember a smile emerging to my face when I heard Arnej’s The Second Coming, and an even bigger smile when I opened my eyes to see him jumping on stage in the DJ booth with Markus. What a moment that was.
Other highlights included the chilling sound of Ana Diaz when Markus dropped Nothing Without Me. The vocals literally took over the room and grasped the attention of everyone there. Those who were familiar watched the lyrics roll across the screen and sang along, while everyone else remained captivated by the eerie tone of the track.
As we journeyed beyond 6am, the melodies faded into darker, deeper beats with heavier bass lines that had us addicted to dancing. Seriously, every time I tried to stop I was pulled in by another track that was better than the last.
(Photo by: Anjali Handa)
My absolute favourite part of the night was around 7:30am. Totally lost in the music, trying to make my legs last for just a few more tracks, my heart melted when suddenly I heard the sound of Nadia Ali. Markus dropped a remix of Iio’s Rapture that took me back to my teen years. For me it was memories of friends, parties and amazing moments that came rushing back, I am sure others did their share of reminiscing in the moment. There was a vibe of gratitude the filled the room as hands went up and hearts were held – we all knew it was a special moment to hold on to. And that is what fueled the last half an hour of the set.
Wrapping up at 8am, Markus took a bow and shook the hands of mega fans who were waiting to have t-shirts signed and photos taken. As we exited the building, cab drivers were lined up to take our aching bodies home (although we were all left yearning for more).
Thank-you Ink Events, The Guvernment, Glen Morrison, Gareth Emery and Markus Schulz for giving us Labour of Love – two nights to remember.
You can hear a 2-hour recording of the Markus Schulz set via the September 6th episode of Global DJ Broadcast. Markus featured Toronto on his World Tour series and gave major shout-outs to Labour of Love.
Anjali Handa – EDM TOR