Living in Toronto has never been so vibrant! There is a distinguishable buzz lingering in our streets, surging through our spirits and spreading throughout Canada. We have been thrust into the global spotlight and will be the hot topic of the summer thanks to the boys in purple and red – the Toronto Raptors. Their eight week long playoff run was a hard fought battle with several heart stopping moments – that iconic four bounce buzzer beater will be talked about for decades to come! When the clock struck zero and the Toronto Raptors were officially announced the 2019 NBA Champions, thunderous celebrations erupted simultaneously throughout the country that carried on late into the night. Over a million fans crowded the downtown core in order to catch a glimpse of the victorious team and the Larry O’Brien trophy at the Raptors’ Championship Parade. These two hugely historical events temporarily shut down the city in a way that no one has ever seen before!
Because I took part in the celebratory madness, my body was drained (and immunity weakened from all the germy high-fives). I’d been excited to see the return of one of my favourite DJs since Electric Escape’s announcement a month prior, but the unpredictable playoffs and parties wrapped up only a few days before the show and I doubted if I should put myself in another loud social event. I shot down this temporary lapse in judgement – I knew I would absolutely regret missing out on the great trance performance Giuseppe Ottaviani always brings and my partying spirits weren’t ready to calm down yet!
Friday was a cool, breezy summer night. College Street was scattered with people headed out for Friday shenanigans. Raptors pride continued as many cars honked their horns and new championship-branded merchandise was proudly worn wherever I looked. As I approached Nest, I was surprised to see there wasn’t a line up, but after security greeted me at the door and let me in I saw that there were several people up the staircase waiting to show their tickets. Usually clubs hold the line outside so I made a mental note to check out more shows at Nest during the winter months to take advantage of lining up in a warm, sheltered environment. Toronto local DJ Deecee was warming up the crowd when I got to the dance floor. Early in his set he played tracks such as Jaytech‘s Aftershock, Fatum‘s Petra, and Darude & Ashley Wallbridge‘s Surrender. The VIP section was located on the right side of the club and elevated from the dance floor. The section was packed with people dancing, casually chatting on the seats, or standing by the railing watching the crowd. I headed towards the bar for a drink ($4 for water and $8 for a mixed drink) and the staff was pleasant and efficient. There was another sectioned off area near the back of the club that was full of people lounging and chatting; I positioned myself to the right of this area as I watched the dance space slowly fill up in anticipation of our headliner. Deecee brought up the energy by playing some popular favourites such as Faithless‘ Salva Mea, Ilan Bluestone‘s remix of Satellite, and even a remix of The Killers‘ song Mr. Brightside that had the crowd singing along.
The music and lights cut out – it was 1am and Giuseppe Ottaviani was about to kick off his two-hour Live 2.0 set! After a few moments of setting up Ottaviani took over, playing his unreleased track Raven. Most of the audience held their phones in the air to record the song, accompanied by whooping and hollering because the main event had just begun. He had hooked the room on the first track! He continued his set with tracks like Pryda’s Elements and his bootleg of Reflekt‘s Need To Feel Loved. A huge crowd pleaser was when he dropped his edit of deadmau5’s Imaginary Friends. I re-positioned myself to a more central spot just behind the disco ball to get a better view of the stage and noticed instantly the sound was much more balanced here. I’m glad I moved when I did because one of my favourite songs of the night, Markus Schulz’s remix of Ottaviani’s Ozone, was played shortly after (approximately half an hour into the set). Every ache in my body disappeared while I lost myself to the melody.
A bright-pink neon “dance like no one is watching” sign was shown brightly displayed on the wall to the left of the dance floor and everyone in the room was following its advice! Ottaviani’s signature Live 2.0 shows have a remarkable energy to them unlike any other electronic dance event I’ve been to. In an interview with DJ Times he describes his special set up consisting of two different sections: a “DJ section” and a “live section”. This allows him to create new sounds and melodies on-the-fly that he can incorporate into his mixes, making every performance unique and indulging in the “live in the moment” mantra. He went on to say “ I get most of my inspiration while playing in front of the crowd…[and now I can]just write the music while onstage and perform it right away”.
Throughout the second hour of Giuseppe Ottaviani’s set, he mixed in many of his 2019 singles including: Colours, Space Unicorn, Tranceland, and Keep Your Dreams Alive (the title of the last song was written boldly across his t-shirt). I know he was enjoying the night along with us as I kept catching him smiling and bouncing around to the music. Many coloured lights flashed throughout the entire set, bouncing off walls and the large disco ball hanging in the middle of the room, rarely leaving any spots of darkness in the small club. I had noticed there was a GoPro set up around the DJ booth and wondered if he was recording the set to be posted online afterward. I have checked his social media pages since the show but there is no evidence of the recordings anywhere, which makes me curious as to what their purpose was.
Around 2:35AM (with about 25 minutes left in his set) the crowd had thinned leaving only the hardcore fans to carry on. I don’t know why anyone thought it was a good idea to go just yet because Giuseppe Ottaviani played some great tracks as he was wrapping up the final portion of his set: his remix of Markus Schulz’s Safe From Harm, Hypaton’s bootleg of Technologic by Daft Punk, followed by his remix of Paul Van Dyk‘s I Don’t Deserve You. The floor was bouncing – literally! He closed out his set with another new release, 8K, followed by the lovely vocals of Clara Yates in Why. His outstanding Live 2.0 set took us on a journey and applause filled the room in appreciation!
Before he left the stage, A.D. The Kid lent him his Raptors Championship hat to wear and the crowd cheered even louder! After the final photos were snapped, A.D. The Kid began his closing set. He picked up the beat right where Ottaviani left off. Some of the remaining attendees chatted amongst themselves and slowly made their way towards the exit, while everybody else jumped right back into dancing and took advantage of the new space on the dance floor. I stuck around for a while to watch A.D. close, but eventually the aches in my body began to return and I knew it was time to call it a night.
A genuine thank you goes out to Electric Escape and Nest for booking such an incredible artist back again! Giuseppe Ottaviani delivered as I knew he would. He never disappoints! This night was the cherry on top of a perfect week in Toronto.
More photos can be found in the EDMTOR Facebook album shot by Adele Desloges and Jonathan Cooper.
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Raven
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Panama
ID w/ Eat Sleep Rave Repeat (Acapella)
PPK – Resurrection (Giuseppe Ottaviani Intro Bootleg)
Pryda – Elements
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Slow Emotion (Monoverse Remix)
Reflekt ft Delline Bass – Need To Feel Loved (Giuseppe Ottaviani Bootleg)
deadmau5 – Imaginary Friends (Giuseppe Ottaviani Edit)
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Ozone (Markus Schulz Remix)
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Soundbar
Cirez D – On Off
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Musica
Andain – Beautiful Things (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Carbon Paper
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Colours
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Space Unicorn
Paul Van Dyk & Giuseppe Ottaviani ft. Sue McLaren – Miracle
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Tranceland
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Keep Your Dreams Alive
Markus Schulz & Emma Hewitt – Safe From Harm (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
Daft Punk – Technologic (Hypaton Bootleg)
Paul Van Dyk ft Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You (Giuseppe Ottaviani Remix)
Giuseppe Ottaviani – 8K
Giuseppe Ottaviani ft. Clara Yates – Why
Ashlyn Doughty – EDM TOR