REVIEW: Embrace presents: Zedd at The Hoxton 02-11-12 by Alix Nikulka

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I’ve been to one of Zedd’s shows before and had an amazing time. Two years have passed, and I have definitely noticed many changes in his style and the fan base surrounding this young DJ. Since I saw him at The Mod Club long ago, Zedd’s popularity has exploded and his fan base has shifted majorly into the progressive house clubbing atmosphere. This time around, when Embrace brought him to The Hoxton, it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for, but it was the experience I expected to come along with Zedd’s huge following.

Upon arriving, I immediately noted the difference in people at the venue. Instead of the care-free, spirited ravers that I’ve fallen in love with, I was surrounded by dolled up girls and collared-popped guys with sunglasses out for a night of clubbing. Also, the venue was absolutely jam-packed. If you wanted to dance, and not just jump in the air and throw your hands up, you had to stand at almost the very back of the room – which I ended up doing halfway through Zedd’s set. I cannot say I’m surprised since Zedd’s track Spectrum has been all over the radio and caught in everybody’s heads. These enthusiastic club-goers came to hear their favourite dance floor anthem played by Zedd himself, and who can blame them? Although it wasn’t my scene, everyone was there to have a great time regardless of whether they were actively interested in EDM or not.

My favourite act of the night was the first opening act, Kill Paris. His set consisted of genres such as dubstep, electro and future funk. Personally, I prefer to dance to these genres over progressive house, which the following acts performed more of. Kill Paris had the crowd jumping around hours before Zedd was on stage, which I found very impressive. He dropped IDGAFS by Dillon Francis which had me going hard, which I continued when he played Drop It by KillaGraham followed by Skrillex’s remix of Goin’ Down by Birdy Nam Nam, which is a current dubstep favourite. Kill Paris had me moving until the end of his set when he played Vaski’s remix of Sandstorm by Darude. That track never fails to get me pumped up.

When Alex Metric replaced Kill Paris on stage, he played more songs with progressive build-ups. These types of songs really got the party-goers excited. The whole dance floor pulsated together as each song progressed to the climax. When the climax arrived, the wave of dancers jumped with their hands up simultaneously. I was at the very front, and looking behind me at the hyped up audience created an exhilarating atmosphere. Alex played a house remix of Crush on You by Knife Party followed by The Night Out by Martin Solveig. This isn’t the genre of music that I normally dance to, but I was really able to get into it and just go with the flow. As I danced, I took note of the guys and girls dancing on stage. When the DJ dropped a house remix of Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO, everyone’s dancing became more lively and they sang along to the humorous lyrics.

At 1am, Zedd took the stage. The crowd rushed from behind me, bombarding through to the front. At first I did not mind because I expected this excitement to ensue when he began to spin. The crowd roared as he started playing his most popular single Spectrum. However, it was just a little taste of the introduction of the track, as he quickly transitioned into a remix of Zedd’s own Shotgun, which is one of his tracks I especially enjoy. Soon after, Zedd dropped his remix of Breakin’ a Sweat by Skrillex which had me going crazy. I must have nearly knocked over the guy next to me as I jumped and flailed to one of my favourite remixes by Zedd. After he got the whole room moving with his own tracks, he spun Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker by Dada Life. Any song by that DJ duo is guaranteed to keep the party going. Zedd then integrated his original mix Slam the Door and eventually mixed it into Gangnam Style by Psy. I thought this was a very witty mashup, and the audience around me was clearly enjoying it as well. Zedd suddenly dropped his track Shave It drastically at the climax of the song, and brought in the intro afterwards. It was an interesting choice of mixing, but it worked really well to reveal the drop before the intro. He continued to spin his own tracks by transitioning into Stars Come Out, which you could hear the crowd singing along to. As expected, everyone loved when Zedd played Internet Friends by Knife Party, and they were even more thrilled to hear him transition into his own Clarity. At this point, confetti exploded into the crowd and the room was a sight of colourful chaos. Zedd went on to entertain his fans with popular dance tracks such as Baauer’s remix of Kanye West’s Mercy, Sleaze by Knife Party and Zedd’s The Legend of Zelda. As expected, Zedd played some more of his tracks from his new album like Codec and Fall into the Sky. A track I didn’t expect was Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men. It was a cheeky and amusing surprise, and the party-goers were loving it. Finally, Zedd finished with his radio hit Spectrum. He delivered the full track of what he teased us with at the beginning of his set, which cleverly brought his performance full circle. It was quite the grand finale, and every single attendee was screaming the lyrics.

After his epic ending, the crowd cheered for more. They wanted an encore, but the lights went on and the show was over. Overall, it was a successful event, but I would have enjoyed it more amongst a different type of EDM audience – one that’s more interested in the genre as opposed to the particular artist. I also would have liked to hear more of Zedd’s older electro tracks, because that’s the music that I originally fell in love with. It seems that Zedd has moved on to a different style and dance scene, and that’s something I am going to have to accept.

Alix NikulaEDM TOR

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Adele Desloges

Adele is the Manager at EDM TOR. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video team, and has been promoting events across the GTA for years. She has been a fan of EDM since the mid-90s and has since found a focus of pure joy in the trance genre.

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