EVENT REVIEW: Escape Together – A Journey Into Trance @ Toronto Event Centre 08-12-17

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Last December 2016, Electric Escape hosted their first edition of Escape Together: A Journey Into Trance. The show received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews within the Toronto Trance Family and inspired EE into making this an annual holiday event! The one year anniversary of Escape Together took place on December 8th, 2017 with a new lineup and a new venue.

Winter weather has gradually rolled into Toronto this year, which is lucky for those trance fans who showed up to the Toronto Event Centre (formerly known as Muzik Nightclub) early. The doors were originally scheduled to open at 9pm but there were technical difficulties while setting up and the entire evening’s schedule was pushed by thirty minutes. Once people were allowed in, it was up to Sheridan Grout to get the party started! He mixed in a fair amount of his own productions during his hour long set, including the popular remix of One Chance featuring vocals from Michele C. Grout is the only Canadian representative on the lineup coming from the nation’s capital of Ottawa. The four and a half hour drive between the two cities makes it easy for his dedicated fans to catch his shows when he spins here. There was no surprise to see the big black and white “Sheridan Grout” flag being held right at the front of the stage. All their smiles were proof their efforts to attend this show were worth it.

Sheridan Grout live @ Toronto Event Centre – December 8th 2017.


Attendance grew as the night went on, but the layout of Toronto Event Centre isn’t ideal for an event like this. The stage and main dancefloor area were positioned in the middle of the space under a gorgeous glass dome with a large chandelier. On either side of the stage were very long and well lit bars extending outward with booths and tables, creating a large T shape. Unfortunately, these extra spaces and lights took away from the intimacy of the show. The huge benefit of this was never having to worry about room to dance, but the room never felt cozy and throughout the night I heard unsatisfied whispers from overheard conversations about the venue’s bright and spacious layout.

Chris Schweizer was the next artist to take over. Schweizer played the closing set at last year’s debut Escape Together show and we were happy to see his reappearance. I moved up to the front to dance with all my fellow EDM TOR members who’d come for the night out. Schweizer was laying down some big and energetic tunes, including mixing Born Slippy with Simon Patterson’s Thump. He played two of his own bootleg/remixes of the Anjunabeats hits Alone Tonight and On A Good Day during the second half, but the highlight of his set was when he played the Dan Stone remix of We Control The Sunlight. Chris Schweizer recorded his Escape Together set – check it out below:

Chris Schweizer live @ Toronto Event Centre – December 8th 2017.


There was a quick transition right into the night’s next artist, Cold Blue. It was just after 11:30pm and I repositioned myself near the back of the dance floor as the smoke machines were kicked into high gear. The swirling clouds helped mute the empty areas off to the left and right, providing the illusion of intimacy for a few minutes until they disappeared. Cold Blue played a lot of his own original mixes including Bliss, Once In Time, and my favourite, On The Outside. Everyone was grooving along and having a good time. An common but devastating indicator of this is seeing (and occasionally feeling) drinks being spilt. Toronto Event Centre had dedicated staff responsible for cleaning up these puddles, as well as the clearing empty cups, bits of tissue paper, and other miscellaneous trash off the floor. It’s not an easy task dodging around the crowd and I was very impressed by this service.

Cold Blue live @ Toronto Event Centre – December 8th 2017.


After a quick break outside for some fresh air, I returned to see Jorn van Deynhoven was taking his turn on stage. It was just after 12:30am and I moved to the front left of the room while the tail end of Lethal Industry rang out. I couldn’t stay here long however as I was caught in a weird bassy echo that must’ve been caused from the sound waves bouncing back off the dome. Once relocated, I was able to fully enjoy the uplifting tunes JVD played. I was was over the moon when I heard Deynhoven fading in one of my all time favourite trance tunes, Anahera. I quickly jotted the title and time down in my notes and immediately put my phone away to dance and enjoy the gorgeous lights as they sparkled on the chandelier that hung in the middle of the domed room. Born Slippy made its second appearance for the night before being followed up with a remix of Silence. Deynhoven faded in and out at the phrase “in this silence” to end his set at 1:30am.

Jorn van Deynhoven live @ Toronto Event Centre – December 8th 2017.


You knew the night was about to switch gears as a mashup of sounds and trippy vocals rang through the speakers. The only psy trance artist of the night, Coming Soon!!!, started his set loud with “put down your PHONES” and jumped right into Anti Social Media followed by Fuckin’ Society. About twenty minutes later, Irad Brant played Trippin’ In Paris. He lost a lot of momentum during this song because of the hip hop/trap beats. At this point, groups of people began to make their way towards the exit, partially because of the song choice but it was also getting late and they may have been too exhausted for hard-hitting psy. The remaining crowd took advantage of this by spreading out and going harder! I loved his graphics displayed on the large screen behind the decks – they were colourful, fast, and trippy to match the music. When Become One was dropped, this was the only moment of the night when my manager and EDM TOR photographer Adele put her camera down to go wild! Brant played a few remixes of popular tunes such as The Calling and Ready To Get High, and wrapped up his set with a remix of the classic Adagio For Strings.

Coming Soon!!! live @ Toronto Event Centre – December 8th 2017.


The Escape Together closer flew in all the way from Ireland. Christopher Kirkpatrick, better known by his stage name Shugz, is well known in Northern Ireland and some of his dedicated fans travelled all this way here to see his debut Toronto show. A large green white and orange flag was proudly waved front and centre when he took the stage around 2:30am. Although the majority of the crowd had left by the time the clock read 3am, Shugz kept the volume loud and the beats fast, playing tracks such as Leave A Message and All Systems Go. Tired and aching, I left shortly after but I could hear the bass and see the lights reflecting in the dome as I walked away from the venue. I was told afterward that Shugz played well into the night and ended his set with Fire Drill.

Shugz live @ Toronto Event Centre – December 8th 2017.


Thank you Electric Escape for organizing this year’s Escape Together trance party! For more photos, check out the entire EDMTOR album on Facebook. Now we excitedly wait for the next event announcement from the Electric Escape team.

LINKS:
Chris Schweizer
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Cold Blue

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YouTube

Coming Soon!!!

Website
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Instagram
Jorn van Deynhoven
Website
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Soundcloud
Instagram
Sheridan Grout
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Shugz
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Soundcloud
Instagram


Ashlyn Doughty – EDM TOR

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It was love at first drop. Ashlyn became intensely drawn to rave culture after her first show, a passion which has continuously blossomed ever since. Attending Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival in 2015 was a magical, life inspiring experience. You'll always find her dancing in the middle of the crowd, connecting with the music, the lights, and the atmosphere. Dream on little dreamers.

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