On December 29th 2017, Eric Prydz played a 3-hour long set inside Toronto’s entertainment complex, Rebel. This unforgettable journey needs no further introduction – it was absolutely magical and I had the time of my life!
My friend and I were determined to catch the opening set, so we made our way down to the docks around 11:30pm. The line to get in was the longest I’d ever seen at Rebel. I felt bad for everyone huddling together in their thick winter coats, bracing themselves against the harsh, cold wind coming off Lake Ontario; I greatly appreciated being on the media guest list and essentially walked directly into the club.
You could feel the energy the second you stepped foot inside Rebel. A shockingly large crowd had already assembled; it seemed like everyone in the Toronto rave scene would be turning up tonight. Tickets for this show sold out not long after they were released and a very limited number of hard tickets were available at the door for an insane $120. We beelined upstairs to take advantage of the significantly shorter coat check and washroom lines. Once we were settled and ready to party, we made our way back downstairs to the very front left side of the main dance floor.
Pryda Presents label mate Cristoph began warming up the crowd with progressive sounds before moving into tech house and techno as his hour and a half set went on. The amount of dancing space exponentially decreased, which quickly gets uncomfortable, especially for a small-sized person like myself. I grooved along to Cristoph’s set in the front row until I couldn’t take the inconsiderate sweaty bodies knocking into me anymore. We migrated until we finally found a decently comfortable spot just behind the rings of light hanging in the centre of the room. This was perfect for me because I enjoy visuals and light shows that accompany the music, an experience that isn’t fully appreciated when you are right at the rail (and Rebel’s newly upgraded entertainment system is definitely a sight worth seeing from all angles).
Rebel felt like it hit peak capacity as the clock approached 1am – everyone knew that Eric Prydz would take over and blow our minds any minute now. Cristoph played a Prydz track to end his set while the man of the night stood beside him initiating a huge round of applause. The room filled with refreshed, excited energy when Prydz laid down that first note. Even from further back in the crowd I could easily identify Prydz’s iconic silhouette with the backwards hat. It took less than twenty minutes for the rings of light to start bobbing up and down to the great delight of everyone dancing on the main floor. His set was very techno-driven early on, and a giant “Cirez D” was appropriately lit up in bright green on the big screen behind the booth while the rings eminated emerald lights and moved around.
The lack of cell reception inside Rebel is both a blessing and a curse. My inability to connect kept me off my phone for the majority of the night, enabling myself to fully enjoy the experience rather than continuously posting on social media. On the flip side, I was hopelessly prohibited from texting anyone I wanted to meet up with who I knew was also in attendance. But keeping with the theme of “magical night,” just as I desperately sent a third message to my friend (and received my third “not delivered” alert), lo and behold, he crossed our path as he manipulated his way through the sardine-packed crowd. We were thrilled by this coincidence as the odds were not in our favour and the three of us parked ourselves in that spot for the remainder of Prydz’s set.
Eric Prydz surprised us all by bringing a little piece of his EPIC 5.0 show to Toronto. Lasers! Lasers! Lasers! The entire room exploded over the laser light show and the party continued as Prydz took it up a notch by transitioning to house / progressive sounds and playing tracks from his Pryda alias. My excitement was mirrored in my notes, verbatim: “2:50 best song of the night holy moly.” I was later able to ID the track as Terminal 5 ID, an unreleased song that he debuted at his show in New York City back in February 2016 inside Terminal 5, from which it gets it’s bootlegged title. Not long after, a very smooth transition took us in a different direction and the lyrics “birds flying high / you know how I feel” were softly blended in. I was floating along to the tune in a dream state when Prydz abruptly hit us with the famous Eurythmics’ riff from Sweet Dreams. Bodies bopped and “dah dah dah dah dah dah”’s sang along to the synthesized rhythm. I’ve heard this track plenty of times before at other shows, but there was something much more magical about hearing Prydz’s Sweet Genesis edit live.
Prydz played several of his own released tracks in the final hour of his set. Many in the crowd recognized each tune and the excitement was clear on their faces as they were dropped, one after another. As the final twenty minutes of the night approached, Prydz brought the music down real low and quiet, as if teasing us with what was coming next. The party clearly wasn’t over yet and cheers, whistles, and claps accompanied the slow, melodic rebuild before Generate rang through the speakers. From there he transitioned right into the biggest song of the night, Opus. The energy from the crowd was insatiable, and you could hear the entire body of people bopping along to the layered buildup as they began getting pumped up for the drop. It truly seemed as though the whole crowd was united in that moment. A few more tracks were squeezed in before it hit 4am, and the music faded down and out for the last time, right on cue. For the first time in a long time that I can remember, I realized 90%+ of the crowd stayed until the very end of the performance – the biggest key indicator of how fantastic the set had been and how much fans adore Prydz!
I can easily say that this was one of the best shows of 2017. With the exception of the overly pushy crowd and the very, very long coat check return line (one of the downfalls of winter raving in Toronto), I had the most amazing night and it was such an amazing experience. Thank you Ink Entertainment for the media pass and for hosting a great party. This was my first time seeing the legendary Eric Prydz and I promise it won’t be the last.
Eric Prydz – Café Mambo 2017 ID (Working Title)
Pryda – Glasgow Intro ID (Working Title)
ID – ID
Pryda – Choo
ID – ID
ID – ID
Cirez D – Bauerpost
Cirez D – Mulla
Pryda – Reeperbahn
Pryda – Animal
Pryda – Stay With Me
Axwell – Feel The Vibe (Eric Prydz Rexmix)
Dukes of Sluca – Always Searching
Pryda – Spooks
Pryda – EPIC Radio 024 ID 02 (Working Title)
Pryda – I See Beautiful (Unreleased)
Pryda – Terminal 5 ID (Working Title)
Eric Prydz – Som Sas
Pryda Feat. Nina Simone – Sweet Genesis (Eric Prydz Edit)
Pryda – Creamfields 2017 Intro ID (Working Title)
Eric Prydz – Everyday
Pryda – You (Interlude)
Eric Prydz – Pjanoo
Eric Prydz ft. Tom Cane – Generate (EPIC Interlude Mix)
Eric Prydz – Opus
Eric Prydz – Summerburst ID (Working Title)
Eric Prydz ft. Adeva – In & Out (Eric Prydz Remix)
Pryda– The Gift (Mix 26)
Ashlyn Doughty – EDM TOR