EVENT REVIEW: Carl Cox @ REBEL 16-06-17


Friday, June 16th, 2017 was a warm, humid, rainy day. I had no choice but to bring my umbrella with me as I ventured out to the club. When the rain stopped, I didn’t want to bring it into the club with me, so my friend Charles decided to tuck it under a tree by an orange port-o-potty because this way we would remember where we stored it when we left. As we walked towards REBEL,  I noticed the general admission line traveled halfway down the street. Luckily, the guest list line was free. There was a mix up with the list however, and we were told that our names weren’t on it. It was hard to communicate the situation with the girl behind the plastic window, but she ended up handing me my passes. Off we went into the club.

Once inside, I was warmly greeted by familiar faces and a doorman I remembered from Guvernment days, who kindly wrapped my media pass around on my wrist for me. We then made our way deeper into REBEL’s embrace.

I wanted to use the washroom, but first we had to find it! As we walked through the club, squeezing ourselves between dancing bodies, I could smell popcorn. It felt like I was at the movies. I noticed a red and white neon “Popcorn” sign. Yup! You can buy a snack while you enjoy the show! To our dismay, the washroom had a huge line up. Security told us there were more by the bar, but I wasn’t ready to squeeze through all the bodies again. I held my legs tighter together, waited, and after about 20 minutes I finally could see the washroom stalls. What? There were only about five stalls! I couldn’t believe that in a venue the size of REBEL, there are only five stalls in a ladies washroom!

I had about half an hour to find the media pit before Carl Cox went on at 1AM. First, we needed a drink. We went to one of the bars stage left of the DJ booth and ordered a Stella. It was one of the 333mL cans, small, but fine because at least it was cold. It was hot in there, especially as we got closer to the stage. The bartenders were amazing; they were fast, polite, and always had a smile.

We had arrived too late to catch the opening set by Greg Gow, but caught the tail end of Carlo Lio, who played one of my favourite tracks, DubfireRibcage.

We asked another security guard where the media pit was and it just so happened we were standing right in front it. He checked our wristbands and let us in. Once inside, I noticed the area was also for those who had bottle service. There was a tall wall right in front of the DJ so no matter how hard I tried, I could not get a good shot of the DJ unless I stood on top of the barriers which divided the general admission area and the media area I was in.

At 1:10AM, Carl Cox, dressed in black jeans and a simple black t-shirt, approached the decks and took over, but not before he hit the mic welcoming his crowd and shouting his famous quote, “Oh, Yes! Oh, Yes! Oh, Yes!”. The phrase streamed across the wall above the crowd in bright LED lights. His logos were displayed above him on either side of the stage. The colour of the night was red, and REBEL’s care and attention to detail in their lighting is nothing short of fantastic!

After we took pictures and danced, we ventured to the other side of the club in the hopes to met up with old dancefloor friends. Some of them were smack dab right in the middle; there was no way we were going to try to reach them there – it was so packed! It was difficult enough just to move around the exterior of the dancefloor, let alone try to walk right through it.

Once we made it to other side of the club, we met up with other friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. Cox brings many out from techno hibernation – young and old. He has been around for approximately three decades, which means he has touched many people since the 80’s. He is one of the only DJs known to utilize three-deck mixing, an art form not many seem to utilize today.

We found a spot to call our own and danced. Some of the tracks we heard from Cox were: Time for House Music, Nexus, Chemistry, and Intec 50.

It was time for me to call it a night, and the warm, humid air licked our faces as we walked out of REBEL to be met by Toronto’s skyline. I took a snap of the view as Charles went to retrieve my umbrella from our hiding spot. I looked for an available cab and I found one that had a good fare. Charles returned, we got in the cab and drove away feeling satisfied and fully technoed, thanks to Carl Cox and the staff behind the event.

Watch a recap of the night by Francis at GrooveENERGY:


Carl Cox


About Author

Miss Raquel is referred to as Toronto's “Queen of the Dancefloor”. She is the Host/Producer of The Miss Raquel Show, Founder of Scenester Magazine and Channel, and writes a blog called “Poppycock!” on gayguidetoronto.com. She’s well-known for being the beloved VJ for electronica on the now closed bpm:tv channel. She is a staple host of the Toronto Pride stages including World Pride 2014. Lawrence Chau of Toronto’s Metro News wrote, "She’s been crowned Toronto’s Paris Hilton of club culture, but unlike the hotel heiress, our blond scene-stirrer… actually works". She’s interviewed many international and local DJs and producers which has made her one of the most notable and respected interviewers in Canada’s EDM scene.

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