REVIEW: Promise Garden Party at The Great Hall 09-03-13 by Sanj Takhar

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After deciding to attend the Promise Garden Party on Saturday March 9, my whole week was consumed with, “How garden-y is too garden-y?” “What will it be like?” “Am I supposed to wear white gloves?” “Will there be cucumber sandwiches?” “Is a flower headband and a poofy sundress to much?” To be frank, I was clueless yet buzzing with excitement.

Knowing about Promise’s legendary “Best Kept Secret” parties downtown, I was expecting a night filled with new experiences, and great music. I was not let down in the slightest. I arrived at The Great Hall at regular club time (around 12:30am) to get into the space while it was at full swing. This, however, proved to be a big mistake; The Great Hall was filled to capacity. Standing outside in the mild winter night I took in my surroundings and began noticing little details. There was an interesting contrast of events happening in the building. Upstairs I was able to watch reflections of bright coloured lazers, gigantic poofy flowers and shadows of intricate outfits. On the street however, people were dressed in sleek black outfits, and hard faced as they walked into the Foundry event downstairs.

After about 40 minutes of waiting in line, and many reassurances of our entry by the staff, we were let in to finally begin our night. I hurried up the stairs, slapped on my wristband, checked in my coat and began exploring. The venue’s décor could be explained with one word… whimsical. The main hall (The Garden) was decorated from top to bottom with flowers, leaves, and sparkles that made my eyes widen and my smile shine in awe.

I entered just in time to catch Terrence Parker’s set. Terrence is a highly respected and world-renowned DJ/producer from Detroit, and he was throwing down some classic house tracks that were making the floor move and sing at the top of their lungs. Mixing in classics such as Deep InsideHarddrive and 100% of Disin YouArmando, the floor was transported back into the late 80’s and 90’s where house music was at its prime. Playing his set by using a telephone as headphones and throwing in a ton of deep house music mixed with classic tunes such as Ready or NotThe Fugees, audience members who has previously been unaware of his style had gained a newfound respect.

In the conversation room (Octopus Garden), Lemon Bucket Orkestra, a self-described “Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Punk-Super-Party-Band” from Toronto had the crowd bouncing about like jumping beans. In a room filled with intricate balloon designs, and singing classic Serbian and Croatian folk music they had the room steaming with body heat, energy and laughter. After a quick lesson from a new found friend, I was told there were no rules to dancing, as long as one foot was kept off the ground at any given time, you were set. So that is exactly what I did. I bounced, jumped, jazz handed, smiled, laughed and hugged tens of people around me, and it was magical. Though there were many great points in the night for Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the main highlight for me was the end of their set where they led the audience out into the hallway, began climbing onto various perches on the walls and played a live version of SatisfactionBenny Benassi.  The crowd went wild and everyone sang along with them and danced to the groovy rendition.

To close off the night, as everyone has lost track of hours because of the time change, the crowd filled up the main hall and danced with Richard Brooks. I say danced with because Richard had the moves! I have not witnessed a DJ who danced more intensely than him. While shaking his groove thang and playing vocal tracks that had the crowd singing whether they knew they lyrics or not, he left the night with energy and excitement. Staying until the lights came on, and walking around to take in the décor one last time, this tired, wilted flower was still alive with happiness. Dancing on the cab ride home, losing an hour of sleep, wearing completely inappropriate clothing for March, and reliving the moments I had with the many new friends I just made, I left the party wanting more. All I have to say is… Welcome to the Jungle Garden.

 

Set Highlights

Terrence Parker

Harddrive – Deep Inside

Royksopp – What else is there? (Trentmoller Remix)

Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega

Armando – 100% of Dissin You

Gramphonedzie – Street Lady

Richard Brooks

Kim English – Nite Life (Armand Van Helden Remix)

Harrison Crump – No More Lies

Groove Cartell – You Got Me Singing (Spiritchaser Remix)

 

Sanj Takhar  EDM TOR

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About Author

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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