Monday, May 18th, 2015 marked the day of Toronto’s very first Electric Island of the summer! It was Victoria Day of the May long weekend and the city was ripened with amazing acts and shows, never leaving a dull moment. The weather forecast predicted rain and thunderstorms for Monday afternoon, but thankfully, it did not rain on us. It became the perfect day to dance to some live tunes with like-minded people in a stellar location. This Electric Island was held at Hanlan’s Point Beach. The grounds were a lot bigger than previous years’, which meant more people, more places to set up a blanket, more washrooms and more food trucks. Free WiFi was available and a general store tent for snacks and more was on location. There was a VIP section with its own washrooms and bars. A surprise this year was the set up of ping-pong tables across from the food trucks.
There were a good variety of food trucks available for the attendees to grab a bite to eat and a beverage. There were hot dogs, poutine, fries and more, which made for a great menu, especially for those who frequented the bars. ElectricIsland.To provided Sapporo ($8/tall can) and Somersby ($9/tall can); both were the more popular drinks for the day. This year, Somersby’s new Elderberry cider was on the drink menu. A bonus was the free samples of different kinds of ciders upon entering the grounds! In keeping up with the trend of this year’s Electric Island theme of “new additions”, there were hired acrobats and dancers on the main stage. These girls wore pretty, psychedelic leggings, colourful wigs and glow accessories, such as LED hoops and glow sticks.
The first two acts were Nature of Music and Simon Jain who played between 1PM and 3PM. As I mentioned they would in the preview, the music they played was eloquent, dreamy and whimsical. Both Toronto acts played tracks that welcomed the island’s patrons and set the mood for the rest of the afternoon.
Next up was Tom Trago who came on at 3PM. His set surprised me for the better. It was a good merging of sub-genres between the two acts that played before and the music that the patrons were in store for later in the evening. His set was almost minimalistic with a hypnotic bass line.
Lee Burridge came on to the stage following Trago. His set played from 4 to 5:30PM. This was the time during the event where the space was filling up quickly and the music made a turn for the better. Burridge played tracks with uplifting melodies and power bass lines. His set was almost calming, yet the groove was alive and thriving.
At 5:30PM, a duo that I was looking forward to the most that day, Pan-Pot, began their set. I could not have asked for anything better – their track selection and transitions were perfection. They brought a Berlin sound unlike most of what was played that day. There were hard-hitting beats, 70’s disco light tempos, a salute to the old 90’s house, some tech-house and some amazing percussion. Here are a couple of tracks that really stood out for me that day:
The infamous and super talented Steve Lawler was a crowd favourite that day. I heard nothing but screaming and whistling all throughout his set. As usual, he pleased the Toronto crowd more than expected. Lawler hopped on the decks at 7:00 PM. He had a fast-paced, high endurance performance, thus having everyone up on their feet, moving and bopping to the music. As the sun went down further into his set, the more loud and heavy the beat got. If you haven’t seen this talented man live, definitely go see Lawler at a show on his own for an even better experience of his taste.
Last, but certainly not least, was the back to back set of Tuskagee whom is made up of Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers. The amount of production that went into the show was above and beyond previous years. Night had finally approached and it was all bright lights and dirty beats for the rest of the evening. Hundreds of people all got up out of their seats for this spectacular set. Tuskagee put on a wonderful set full of bells, rings, percussion and melody. Without a doubt, one of the many sets that night that had my mouth open in awe.
It was a fantastic day on the island, thanks to the work of the Footwork family, Platform, and Embrace. The next one is the Electric Island Canada Day Edition with Sasha,Marcel Dettmann, Lee Foss, Dennis Ferrer, Jonathan Rosa, Jeff Button, and Greg Gow. Although we are still feeling the effects of the first one, there is already a buzz about the next, so grab your tickets early.
Event updates, dates, teasers, clips and more from Electric Island can be found on their Facebook page.
Tickets for the Electric Island series of events can be purchased here.