REVIEW: ATB @ The Guvernment 25-05-13 by Sabino Furlone

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May 25 was an important night for me, and not for the reason you’re thinking. Yes it was extremely important that I not miss ATB this time around, but my experience at The Guvernment was a sobering one to say in the least. Six days earlier, I covered Freedom at the Guvernment, and I was excited for a change of pace this time around. I craved a variation of music, refashioning of crowd and an alteration of mindset. I found all of these things, to an extent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the direction of the pleasant atmospheric vibe that I was aiming for.

When I arrived, it was only ten minutes to one am, so I was a little surprised to see a long general admissions line-up. I had anticipated this line-up would be the same length as the guest list line, which only seemed to be holding back clubbers for a few minutes.

When I walked inside, it definitely didn’t look like it was almost one am; the density of the crowd didn’t even reach past the back speakers. In a way, this was refreshing to me because I knew I could actually enjoy the music without too many people bursting my personal bubble. From the back, I observed a tall, lanky figure throwing down opening-appropriate progressive tracks on the decks. I didn’t second guess that it was Mark Oliver. After getting closer to the stage, however, I realized it was actually Rudee on deck. They look the same, and, to my ears sounded the same, which isn’t a bad thing at all!

After getting a drink at the bar, and anxiously waiting for time to pass, there he was. He came out a few minutes earlier than he was supposed to and sized up the crowd as they cheered and welcomed him back. Within the first few minutes of his set, I almost felt as if everyone in the room had left and was replaced by a bunch of animals (saying that very politely). ATB was kind enough to immediately share a classic with us as the stage dropped to floor level. It was was great on his part, but in my opinion this only made the crowd rowdier and more aggressive. That may sound like a silly observation, as this is common protocol for top main-stage DJs when they “come down to earth” with their crowd, but I expected a little more composure among the crowd as Trance fans have more class than that. This wasn’t a dubstep show, and I didn’t appreciate people (especially “ATB fans”) aggressively elbowing their way by me in hopes to just get a better glimpse of him.

I suppose after half the song, enough was enough, and up he went. Even then, for the few tracks after that, the crowd was relentlessly aggressive. I’m not overly disappointed by that, but more so by the lack of consideration of the people there who were not in that kind of mood. Is it so bad that some people just want to appreciate a trance icon by listening to good music while casually drinking with friends? I know those places still exist, but apparently not at Guv anymore. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have found myself fighting with a guy beside me, in a neon tank top, to give me some space on the most uplifting of nights in Toronto like ATB playing light classics and the like.

ATB did play a good mix of commercial trance and progressive, anthems and classics, even though he had a little trouble doing so. I think this was one of the first times he was using The Guv’s new CDJs and wanted to mess around with the auto sync function. While doing so, he really messed up when he dropped Armin‘s This is What it Feels Like down to like 70bpm! There were actually a lot of other moments like this throughout the night, and things got a bit comical after a while because ATB would laugh at himself over every error he made. Although I didn’t hear his entire set, it was close to the end when I left, and I’d had enough. From what I’ve heard from everyone else that stayed, even after his set, I didn’t miss much.

From my past experiences this week, I can recommend The Guvernment Nightclub as your #1 destination for absolute craziness and wild animal-like behaviour. Be prepared for the best possible “rave” experience, even on the nights you would least expect. For music lovers that aren’t as hungry for that experience but still insist on going, at least anticipate it because it’s guaranteed.

Sabino Furlone – EDM TOR

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