Having been there once before, it was a treat to visit Waterloo‘s new gem, Beta Nightclub on January 16, 2013. I was completely thrilled for the night ahead, to witness the legendary German power-duo, Cosmic Gate. I was hopeful for a night of driving spirit and instictive melodies, and to hear tracks from their stunning seventh studio album “Wake Your Mind”.
Apart from a small queue and a few security personnel, the exterior of the nightclub has no indicative signs that it’s a club at all. The space it occupies used to be an actual performance space known as the Waterloo Stage Theatre. The marquee lights still exist as a beacon to EDM fans. As I entered the former lobby area of the theatre I could hear the muffled bass and noticed an employee accepting cover from patrons while sitting in an old ticket sales booth. As one walks onto the dancefloor, the signs of the space’s past historic life begin to trickle away, and the epic warehouse vibe begins to take over.
Running along the entire left side of the massive space there is a bar staffed with not only attractive, but very pleasant bartenders. At the end of the bar, and naturally where my attention goes, there’s a monumental and extremely elevated DJ booth, where the opening act seems to be having the time of their lives. My ears were welcomed by the paramount sounds of The Thrillseekers featuring Stine Grove‘s Everything (Wellenrausch Dub) being belted out on an inspiring tracklist carefully selected by the talented, up and coming Toronto duo, Casualties of Sound. At around 10:45 p.m.clubbers started to stream in; by 11:30 the crowd was at full tilt, but there was still ample room to frolic. The crowd was a young and kinetic bunch, with fresh ears for EDM, but scattered throughout were prominent diehard trance veterans. As the crowd’s energies rose, they simply erupted for Daren Porter & Ferry Tayle’s Neptune’s Siren. The Casualties kept the fans attention and zeal right through till the close of their set, which was tapered off with the divine Hartseer by Bart Claessen. The opening set was an exalting blend of uplifting and deep progressive trance, the DJs even took the risk of infusing a techno track sped up to around 130 bpm.
The men of the hour arrived at the booth promptly at 12:20 a.m., they looked collected but vitalized as they took over the decks. Cosmic Gate must have done their research as it was almost as if they psychically knew what the Beta bunch was after. Immediately they changed up the sound to that of a harder, electro-progressive one and automatically knew what to play to make the crowd melt in their hands. They read everyone’s moods flawlessly! Although, my heightened spirits were somewhat dampened at the realization that most of the trance I wanted to hear might not be featured that night, my affections quickly surged. The one song I was praying to be played was their production, Crushed. And they dropped it around 3 or 4 songs after opening. I was elated! After that they continued a heavy electro sound, and randomly threw in a song from their “Wake Your Mind” album, featuring Emma Hewitt, Be Your Sound. The mass erupted a this, I even saw a couple of girls with the lyrics printed onto their tank tops, looking at eachother with wide eyes and screaming. It was by far the favorite for the night, as I remember.
People were pressed up close to the dj booth. The throng was hard to navigate through, however the back was open and airy to dance in. But everyone, regardless of location, had their hands up and smiles on their faces. The duo pressed on with their strong progressive vibe. At this point, a friend I arrived with was so tired and disappointed with the lack of uplifting trance that they wanted to leave and unfortunately, they were my way back to Toronto! It was around 1:35 a.m. when we gathered everyone and were about to head out, just as Cosmic Gate played another track from their last album – “Calm Down“. We made sure to stay for this and soak up as much uplifting as we could because it was few and far in between.
All in all, despite my love for uplifting trance, I can honestly say that Cosmic Gate knew how to rock the crowd they were given. They knew what to expect and delivered, the fans were simply tickled by their track selection. I’m sure the diehard trance fans might not have been as pleased but it was generally a very young crowd that seemed still quite green to EDM. For those true to trance fans, they had the pleasure of hearing an array of trance productions from the opening DJs.
Anj Mahabir – EDM TOR