After hearing plenty of buzz surrounding the opening of Ink Entertainment’s newest EDM hotspot, I knew it was time to see Uniun Nightclub for myself. With my curiosity peaked what a better occasion to experience this club then for the welcoming of world renowned DJ, Fedde le Grand. This would be his second time in Toronto this year, after playing on the main stage at The Guvernment in May. It’s been a successful year for Fedde highlighted by the launch of his Dark Light Sensations podcast in December of 2011 and winning two awards; Best Remix for his edit of Coldplay’s Paradise at the IDMAs and best Techno Track at the Beatport Awards for Metrum. Fedde’s North America Takeover Tour sure started with a bang – Toronto was his third North American City to visit after playing at the London Music Hall just one day before.
The hype surrounding this contrastingly industrial yet futuristic club was bound to deliver a large crowd. With a schedule of some of the largest names in EDM I would advise those wishing to test their curiosity, to purchase their tickets in advanced. After arriving at 11:00pm and waiting for over an hour in the guest list line, it was discouraging to see ticket holders racing in at impressive speeds. Upon entering the club it was clear to see why there was so much buzz surrounding Uniun. I had seen photos online, although none could compare to being a part of the action. The rectangular shaped bar’s cathedral-like ceilings were even more impressive in person. Hanging between metal arched beams are icicle like LED lights that light up and down racing to keep pace with the thundering sound system controlled by the raised DJ booth at the front. Down both sides of the club are rows of booths outlined by LED walls flashing random waves of blue and red graphics.
I arrived just as dBerrie hit the decks. It was just passed midnight and the bar was already crowded with people, every booth lined down either sides of the bar was filled with well-dressed bottle serviced groups contrasting the young crowd of energy filled ravers jumping around anxiously in the center awaiting Fedde’s arrival. dBerrie, former DJ to the stars, launched an amazing opening for Fedde playing progressive hit after hit as the crowed drew towards the front like a current. He dropped big hits such as Hardwell’s Three Triangles and Sander van Doorn’s Kangaroo. Time seemed to pass slowly as the anticipation and energy rose in the bar, each person packing in closer and closer almost as if the closer we were together the sooner Fedde would appear. dBerrie’s set was just over an hour which scared me into thinking Fedde’s would be cut short. Uniun surprised me, most Toronto bars remain open until 2:30-3:00am, Fedde’s set went late into the night ending around 4:00am. Even after Fedde’s set the bar remained open continuing the party with the new Uniun resident DJs, popularly known for opening and closing at most Ink Entertainment events, DJs Manzone & Strong.
Just after 1:00am silence hit and the lights dimmed. Being fairly close to the front I could see the shadow of the Dutch star from underneath the orange lamps hanging across the front of the booth. It was difficult to see Fedde in the shadows and everyone quickly pushed forward flooding the front as the distinct progressive beat of Roul and Doors Melody in Harmony grew louder. The LED icicles pushed down flashing red, moving in waves perfectly in sync to the music. It wasn’t very long until everyone was mushed together jumping along to the beat. His set began with a tech-house sound, his hit So Much Love being his third song in. Fedde jumped around behind the booth full of energy passing his head phones from hands to mouth, a signature move I’ve seen only from him. Immediately after So Much Love the vibe quickly turned progressive, playing Swanky Tune’s Here we go shortly followed by R3hab’s Sending my Love. The night progressed with a mixture of top 10 Beatport hits such as Tommy Trash’s recently released Truffle Pig and some old favorites such as Michael Calfan’s Resurrection the perfect transitions for the crowd whether familiar with EDM or not.
The night was in constant motion, there wasn’t a dull moment between shoulder rides and even crowd surfing after Fedde played his bootleg of Insomnia by Faithless. It was obvious that everyone was having an amazing time and that Fedde loved all the energy as he mixed with a big smile on his face the entire night. I was happy that closer to the end of the night the crowed dimmed down and I had a chance to catch some great videos and pictures without being crushed by the crazed crowd. I left just before the end of his set after patiently awaiting his remix of Paradise; no matter how many times I’ve heard it played it will always remain one of my favorite songs. After leaving Toronto Fedde headed to Montreal on November 24th and Ottawa on the 25th. He still has a packed few weeks, playing almost every day during his North American Takeover Tour until December 9th, ending at Space, Miami.
Can’t get enough of Fedde? Check out his Dark Light Sensation’s podcast HERE.
Want to check out Uniun for yourself? Factory Friday’s at Uniun presents the return of An21 & Max Vangeli to Toronto after taking over the stage this summer at Ink Entertainment’s first ever outdoor music festival, VELD. Check out the event page HERE.
Leanne Feeney – EDM TOR