Toronto’s Uniun Nightclub has quickly grown into one of the most desirable clubs in the city. The beautiful mish-mash of antique-style décor, modern nightlife qualities and the famed state-of-the-art LED lights, proved early on that Uniun is a nightclub to reckon with. Known for housing huge international DJ’s, and packing its 1,500 capacities every night, it was no surprise when I arrived at midnight that the entrance line snaked far from the door.
To truly appreciate nightlife in a big city you have to be prepared for the standard nightclub confusion. In my experience, Uniun has proven to be one of the best organized and efficient venues for admission, despite the staggering line sizes. But the entire city must have won free tickets on one of those hoax Facebook contests, or something, because it seemed like all hell had broken loose. All lines had become tangled into one, which ultimately caused pushing, shoving and a bunch of over-confident attendees in muscle shirts to ruin everyone’s waiting time. After an hour wait and nearly being pushed to the breaking point of giving up and going home, all I could hope was that this night was a fluke in Uniun’s regular effortless admission.
Unfortunately I didn’t catch Toronto’s own Manzone and Strong open the night, but, by the look of the dance floor when I entered, I’d confidently say they delivered seamlessly as always. With little time to settle in, I soon heard Leighton James of Adventure Club take over the decks promptly at 1am. He swung hard right from the beginning with Major Lazer’s Watch Out For This (Bumaye). To my surprise, what followed was a succession of Adventure Club’s most popular tracks. He went from their remix of Krewella’s Rise and Fall, to Youth by Foxes, to their own track Need Your Heart featuring Kai. Adventure Club got straight to the point, and alleviated us from the anticipation of hearing those signature songs. The crowd was a mess of diehard fans jumping up for air in between singing along to their favourite lyrics. The vibe was contagious.
Having previously seen Adventure Club, last year, in London Ontario, at Cobra Nightclub’s sister location, it was easy to spot the influence in the/ notable electronic music trend: trap. We heard the cash register ‘cha-ching’ in Spend It by Antiserum X Mayhemc, and the crowd favourite Higher Ground by TNGHT. During Carnage’s remix of Afrojack’s Annie’s Theme, Leighton jumped over the booth and onto the stage to bounce with the crowd as the music dropped; grabbing onto a couple hanging LED icicle lights in the process.
Easing into the 2:30am mark, the energy inside Uniun was far from subsiding. A mash-up of Stellar by Daddy’s Groove and their own remix of Flight Facilities, Crave You, sent the crowd into fury. It was getting hot, really hot. Imagine a bunch of dogs coming out of a bath and shaking off all the excess water…that was basically the crowd at this point. Except it wasn’t water, it was sweat.
Shortly after a handful of broken promises that this would be their “last song” (which nobody was complaining about), we got a glimpse into Adventure Club’s past life as a hardcore pop-punk band. Their melodic dupstep remix of Lullabies by Yuna shockingly turned into a heavy guitar riff as he transitioned into It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door by the Christian scream band Underoath. It took a few moments for the crowd to know what to do with their feet, since there was no longer a kicking bass beat to bounce to, but the former (or still dedicated) scene/punk kids in the crowd could barely contain their excitement.
And even though Adventure Club shifted back to a few more electronic-based songs before ending the night, the choice closer tune was My Curse by metalcore band Killswitch Engage. Never have I seen a DJ end his set with the type of track you’d hear at Warped Tour rather than Uniun Nightclub, but there was something oddly refreshing about it.
I can’t say I headed home to download all of the post-hardcore music of the 2000’s, but even after a 2+hr set, I left wishing it had never ended.
Other Songs Played:
Do I See Color – Adventure Club
The Downfall of us All – A Day to Remember
Eyes (Alvin Risk Remix) – Kaskade Feat. Mindy Gledhill
Sun & Moon (Taiki & Nulight Remix) – Above & Beyond
Explosions (Gemini Remix) – Ellie Goulding
Right In – Skrillex
Booty Bounce – Diplo & GTA
Oh My (Club Mix) – The Partysquad & Boaz
Rachael D’Amore – EDM TOR