By the time I get in, it’s after midnight and Oliver Heldens has already taken over the main room. The 19 year-old is controlling the decks like a veteran. He drops his hit single Koala and Jack by Breach, a song that was played at least three times by three different DJs throughout the night. Then he drops a house remix of Mark Morisson’s Return Of The Mack, a song that was originally released when Heldens was only a year old. The main room is now jam-packed and I’m finding it hard to breath as the air had begun to mimic that of a sauna. I slip past the corner bar into Chroma where I’m greeted by a cooling breeze and the sweet sounds of Techno being spun by Manzone & Strong.
The atmosphere is electric; as the rhythmic sounds and fresh air hit me I’m instantly re-energized and drawn to the dance floor to join in the party. I don’t know if anyone can truly grasp the difficulty of what this duo was pulling off, yet again. Over the years Joe Manzone and Fab Strong have played at The Guvernment hundreds of times and yet every single set is somewhat unique. Many international DJs can tour with the same set for months; these two manage to re-invent their play list on a weekly basis without ever deviating from the sound their fans have come to expect. They never get stale and I will never get sick of partying with Toronto’s favorite DJ duo. I got completely wrapped up in the moment dancing away with the rest of the Chroma crowd and lost track of time.
As I head down the stairs I’m awestruck by the energy Eric Morillo is generating. I grab the railing trying not to slip on the steps that are now soaked with condensation. Anyone who has ever attended a sell out show at Guv is familiar with the infamous stories about how the walls sweat, but on this night it was taken to a whole new level. After making my way to the front right side of the stage I felt water droplets landing on my head; not only were the walls and floors sweating, the ceiling was sweating too.
Of the 7,000 (capacity) people in the complex the majority of them are in the main room and there’s not a single person who isn’t dancing. The first recognizable song I hear is a personal favorite by Live Element, Be Free (Oliver Remix). The rest of the crowd loved it too, they erupted in agreement as the tracks vocals came in, “live your life, be free” and that’s exactly what we were doing. At that very moment, the weight of every negative thing that had ever happened to anyone in that room completely vanished. Our souls danced, our hands waved and we felt the meaning of true freedom. As his set came to a close Morillo played a remixed version of Swedish House Mafia’s Save The World. Again the entire audience was completely transfixed as they blurted out the chorus and shuffled along to the familiar rhythm.
I headed back into Chroma where Hatiras and MC Flipside were spinning back to back. The new Claude VonStroke track CaliFuture is bumping and the vibe is exceptionally energetic. Unfortunately, this Toronto duo has drawn so much of a crowd that Chroma is now almost as hot and hazy as the main room. So I head back up to Skybar for some fresh air.
Australian DJ Dirty South was someone I thought might lighten up the heavy helping of true bass thumping, Guv style house music that had dominated the night, but as a good DJ always does, he calibrated his audience and kept the bass coming. Finally, to close out his set he played the one track that I had envisioned him playing since the day I found out he would be part of the last ever Labour of Love. As soon as I heard “everything seems like a city of dreams” I knew the moment had arrived. I quickly whipped out my camera and struggled to focus it as the excitement welled up inside me. I tried desperately to keep the camera still while dealing with the tremendous velocity of the force that’s created by thousands of people who are experiencing one of the best nights of their lives. City Of Dreams swept through the crowd and within seconds everyone was singing along “I never know why but I still miss you”. That song really encapsulates my night because Labour of Love 2014, you seemed “like a city of dreams, but I still miss you”.
Adam Micallef – EDM TOR