Arriving at 11:00pm with my friends, we were faced with an already large line up, though it moved quickly so we didn’t wait long to get inside. I was surprised to see that upon entering Kool Haus it was already pretty busy, and I knew we would all be in for a hot and jam-packed night. My destination for the night was Ferry Corsten’s Full On Tour with Bassjackers and Tritonal inside the Kool Haus and I can only verify by what people have told me that Arty, Gareth Emery and Nervo’s sets were incredible inside the Guvernment main room. Everyone inside the Kool Haus was particularly excited for the fact that legend Ferry Corsten would not only be spinning his own set, but joining both Bassjackers and Tritonal for two back to back mini sets in between. The night was officially underway with one of our favourite local residents, DJ Mark Oliver, warming up the crowd. As always he did a phenomenal job of setting the tone for the night, with the main musical focus being Electro House and Trance tunes to get everyone into the right frame of mind for what was about to transpire. The atmosphere was buzzing with so much excitement as the minutes quickly passed – you couldn’t help but feel super happy right from the beginning. I noticed a wide variety of people that were coming in with all different ages – some first-timers, some regulars, but everyone full of energy, good vibes and all around smiles everywhere you turned.
Scheduled to start the night at 11:30, Bassjackers were fashionably late to hit the decks and didn’t start until 11:45pm. Comprised of Marlon Flohr and Ralph van Hilst, Bassjackers are a duo from the Netherlands, consisting of one producer and one DJ. The person behind the decks is Marlon, while Ralph stays behind the scenes with productions. This event was their second in Toronto after their debut last January at The Hoxton. Known for creating awesome remixes, the duo is still fairly new to the dance music scene so no one really knew what to expect. Marlon started the 90 minute set with insanely high-energy beats and immediately set a tone that far exceeded mine and many others’ expectations. Playing a few of their famous remixes like Tiesto & Allure’s Pair of Dice, and Tiesto’s Maximal Crazy, we also got to hear a wide variety of tracks that kept us guessing what could possibly come next. Realizing how good this duo is within the electro house genre, we also heard tracks produced by Bassjackers themselves such as: Let’s Get Weird, Grid, which is a collaboration with Dyro, and another one with Kenneth G called Duckface. I have to admit I was beyond impressed with Bassjackers entire set from start to finish and it ended up being my favourite set of the whole night.
At 1:00am, with Kool Haus very busy but not shoulder-to-shoulder stuffed, Ferry Corsten stepped up to the stage with an introduction from Marlon as the first back-to-back set officially began. With a genuine love for most genres in EDM, I was really excited to see how Bassjackers and Trance legend Ferry Corsten would make their unique sounds work together in a set. Starting off the b2b and marking the end of his solo set, Bassjackers played another hit of their own called Mush Mush. With the crowd dancing heavy for almost two hours already, Ferry Corsten’s contributions made everyone go wild when he dropped Madagascar by Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, Yves V & Angger Dimas. It was clear that this part of Ferry’s night would be nothing along the lines of Trance, not that anyone was complaining. Feeding off each other’s energy, Ferry and Marlon played a few more tracks with Bassjackers concluding their part of Freedom 2013 with Showtek’s banger of a track, Slow Down.
1:30am quickly rolled around as Ferry Corsten began his solo set of the night. Not needing much of an introduction, Ferry is known as a Trance legend and has been around for over twenty years as one of the top DJ/Producers in the world. He began his set with his newest track F the Bull$h1t and everyone exploded into cheers and continued to dance with amazing vibes flowing through the massive venue. For over an hour and a half we heard a less trancey side of Ferry Corsten, but he did play some memorable classics like Ferry Corsten feat. Aruna Live Forever, his epic collaboration with Markus Schulz, Loops n Tings, a beautiful classic from Armin van Buuren Communication (Faruk Sabanci remix), and a beautiful vocal track featuring Betsie Larkin with Ferry called Made of Love. Dipping into some electro house and progressive for the remainder of his set we heard some awesome tracks that kept the energy high and crowd wanting more with tracks like Black Light and Rock Your Body both by Corsten, as well as one of Orjan Nilsen’s latest hits No Saint Out Of Me. The overall production of Ferry Corsten’s set was incredible. The stage was set up perfectly with an amazing light production that was easily one of the best I have seen inside Kool Haus.
Flowing into the last part of the night at 3:00am, Chad and Dave, who form Tritonal, appeared for the last back to back half hour set. Ferry introduced the guys as they started their part of the show with their own track Piercing Quiet (Super8 & Tab Remix). Playing many fan favourites we heard nothing but Trance in this set. Paying tribute to Ferry and the Full On Tour that he presented us with, Tritonal played We Belong (Tritonal Air Up There Remix) by Ferry Corsten featuring Maria Nayler, before Ferry bid adieu with his final track of the night, Punk (Arty Rock-n-Rolla Mix). Just as quickly as it began, Corsten’s two and a half hours on the stage were over and it was time for the final solo set.
At 3:30am as Ferry Corsten made his exit, the duo from Texas began their portion of the night. Chad and Dave always bring great presence to the stage and this show was no less. They had so much amazing energy to feed off it seemed almost effortless. Tritonal started their set with one of their latest tracks, The Bullet That Saved Me (Tritonal Festival Mix) featuring Underdown. Bringing out a fine balance between trance, electro and progressive House, we heard some of the best current tracks like Ashley Wallbridge Yin-Yang, Maor Levi & Pierce Fulton Wanna Be, a major banger from Showtek and Justin Prime, Cannonball (Tritonal Edit), and going back a bit to play Avicii and Nicky Romero’s I Could Be The One. Glancing through the crowd about halfway through the night I could see that everyone who was there was still enjoying themselves and dancing just as much in that moment as they were at the beginning of the night. It says a lot about an entire night when the crowd around you is moving and smiling non-stop from start to finish without feeling the need to leave early. As the night quickly came to an unfortunate end, Tritonal thanked everyone for an amazing night and brought out Still With Me (Seven Lions Remix) featuring Cristina Soto, as their encore. This was hands down the highlight of my night not only because this song speaks to so many hearts (especially mine) with its beautiful melody and lyrics, but because everyone around myself and my friends connected and held on to each other while the track played. It was truly a beautiful end to an awesome night and it could not have ended any better on Tritonal’s note as well.
Looking back on the night, many things added up to make Freedom 2013 the perfect finish to a beautiful long weekend. Everyone who came in smiling left with even bigger smiles on their faces even at 5:00am when we were dead tired from dancing our hearts out all night long. Another successful night for INK Events and The Guvernment complex, I can’t wait to see how they will top Freedom 2013 with the next all-access event.
Monika Sobota – EDM TOR