On Saturday March 21st, The Phoenix Concert Theatre played host to 2nd event in the Bassweek series…Projek: Hospitality. After last night’s event at The Hoxton, I literally could not stop bouncing in anticipation. I arrived at the venue just before 11pm with my good friend Holli and the line outside was not that long, but there was a steady stream of people showing up to join. Everyone seemed to be just as excited me for the night to begin despite the deep chill from the wind coming in. The chatter was positive and I was told just be ready for a madhouse since The Phoenix Theatre is an unbelievable venue for bass shows.
As soon as we got inside the venue, you could hear Marcus Visionary warming up the steadily growing crowd with ease. Looking from left to right you could see there was an unspoken rule of rinsing room only for the first third of the dancefloor; those who were saving their energy for later in the night had retreated to the back of the venue or the lounge right before coat check. It was really awesome to see Marcus Visionary in such a big space because he always has a high energy set with a killer song selection that makes me want to dance (and tonight was no exception), but usually I find there isn’t enough space. Also with Caddy Cad as the MC for this portion, with his rhymes helping to punctuate each transition in the mix. My only regret was that we didn’t show up earlier because Marcus was playing a two-hour set. He ended his set with a bomb remix of Rihanna’s Stay that had the crowd up in arms before Etherwood was set to go on stage.
When Etherwood was introduced on stage you could hear the roar approval from the crowd from before Dynamite MC could even get his name out of his mouth. From speaking to a couple fans in the crowd, the consensus was that this was the most anticipated set; everyone wanted to see if all the hype was worth it or not. It definitely was. Those soulful, almost haunting melodies paired with his chilling bass lines used in his songs blasting out of the PK Sound system sent shivers down the spines of everyone in the room all at once. His style of liquid is sweeter than anything I’ve come across before, so melodic and well balanced that even if you were to go back or forward in time 70 years people would still feel the vibe. My favourite part of his set was when he played his remix of The War Rages On. The intro to that song is so unique and I loved the fact that a lot of people onstage and in the crowd knew the words. That’ll be a moment I remember for the rest of my life. At the end of his set; with Dynamite MC goading him on, Etherwood took the time to shake hands with a large portion of the front of the crowd before going backstage. Seeing as how this was his first time playing in Toronto EVER and it was the last night of the Hospitality Tour; it was more than appropriate. It was nothing but love at this event from the front of the room all the way to the back.
At about 1:30 am, Nu:Tone was introduced on stage and I went back up to get a few pictures and a good view. That was probably the best idea because almost immediately the crowd got really rowdy. Nu:Tone started off with some super heavy, high energy tunes that had me skanking till my ribs started to hurt; I took one look into the crowd and could see about a half a dozen people on their friends shoulders, hanging on for dear life and screaming for more. He was sprinkling in songs with more of a hip-hop vibe to them which allowed Dynamite MC to really showcase his skills even further. I was starting to get a little tongue tied trying to keep up with him. The best example of this was when he played his song Cannibals which actually features Dynamite. It was an awesome feeling to see everyone’s lips echoing his rhymes and that’s the highest level of respect we can collectively show an MC as a massive. In his set, he traveled from bits of liquid & breaks to heavy banging jungle that ultimately made for a mind-bending experience. He played a lot of songs off his November release entitled “Future History” including the song Bay Of Islands which he made with his brother Logistics, and others that I can only assume are brand spanking new or yet to be released.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to stay for all of Nu:Tone’s set which caused me to miss Metrik’s and Hydee’s sets which I do regret. But judging from how the rest of the night was and the reaction on social media it had to have been good. I was very satisfied with the portion of the show that I did get to see. I spoke to Marcus Visionary briefly after his set and he told me to expect big things from the Inner-City Dance set w/ Lush so i’m just going to stay positive for the time being. The next Bassweek event is projek: Legends on March 27th and the rest of the Bassweek events will be held at this venue. I hope to see you guys there at the next show!
Keanu Jones – EDM TOR