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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Digital Dreams Music Festival 2013, Music

Concert Review: Digital Dreams Music Festival (Day 1)

By: Shannon Reid (@allisplural) –

Digital Dreams Music Festival. (Photo: Shannon Reid/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Digital Dreams Music Festival. (Photo: Shannon Reid/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

While Canada Day celebrations were in full bloom last weekend with many migrating north to  Muskoka to make love in canoes, Aesthetic Magazine Toronto bravely ventured into the drug induced bouncy crowds that were as thick as oatmeal.

It’s hard not to review this weekend without walking down memory lane in my shoes; my folk loving, indie rock endearing, modern composer swooning, old school rapping, R&B melting, glitch, and experimental diving shoes. Notice I mentioned NOTHING about Dubstep, Drum & Bass, Deep House, Trans, Dirty Dutch or House. I was terrified.

The last time I ventured into this territory was when Portishead, Tricky, Massive Attack, Underworld and The Chemical Brothers bent my spine. Raves were underground, meaning, you received a private invitation to an event usually hidden away in some dark industrial room. There were no ‘Kandi Kids’, ‘Fluffies’ or ‘BROS’. Girls weren’t wearing, “I’m A Slut” hats and guys weren’t collectively designing, “Drink Up Bitches” shirts. All this came after.

As I sat on the cement slab steps that led to this temple of BOOM-BLOOP-BLEEP heaven I quickly realized that I was going to be eaten alive by half naked raging youth. With that in mind, I walked into an empty Ontario Place and I prepared myself for what was to come, but I couldn’t have prepared well enough and was swept off my feet; drug-free.

DAY 1: SAT, JUNE 29, 2013

DREAMS STAGE: The Dreams Stage was the most mainstream of the three stages hosting well-known commercial artists. It’s gates and poorly informed security held back a much younger demographic than the Echo Beach Stage and The House of Boom. HUGE digital screens flanked the stage that displayed tweets by audience members as well as colourful images; they also served as a backdrop for dancers; who were dressed in modern Roman lingerie posing as costumes. Tassles flew, long braids whipped and nothing jiggled. Nothing. When the sun dipped low, pyro raged up top, while confetti seasoned the crowd and lifted everyone up.

DJ JELO. (Photo: Shannon Reid/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

DJ JELO – 3:00pm-4:00pm 

MAKE DJ JELO your new jam. He has a heavy sick beat with an even sicker head banging fro! Last year he played the Dreams Stage twice (booked for one show and spontaneously covered another artist who cancelled last-minute) this year he played a set that had more crowd support than  DJ ADDY, who played the Echo Beach Stage simultaneously. His spirit is infectious. People were calling his name like he was an old friend and he responded by coming down off the stage and taking pictures with his fans. During his set your heart made out with my stomach, and it was aural love at first sight. Break beats seduced me.

THE HOUSE OF BOOM STAGE: THE HOUSE OF BOOM was my favourite stage for three reasons. 1) It was the only stage that was inside a massive tent offering relief from the humid heat and branding sun. 2) Drum and Bass is ridiculously seductive to anyone who has a heartbeat. 3) It was the only stage that had lasers.

What was most memorable about The House of Boom was the insanely creative outfits! From girls wearing bikinis along with super colourful fake fur leg warmers called, “Fluffies”, which she topped off with what looked like a D.I.Y. beaded doctors mask. Another guy wore what looked like a homemade robot-alien inspired mask with glowing eyes. The dancing was the best of all three stages. They wore lights on their fingers and fur on their toes. They WERE ‘The Wild Thing’s’ Max ruled over; except ‘Max’ was being played by various drum and bass dj’s.

RICKTOXIC – 3:00pm-4:00pm

If RICKTOXIC were a rider in Le Tour de France, his insanely fast top hat soundbeats unleashed a ‘rat-tat-tat’ quicker than Mark Cavendish. Heat racing beats were juxtaposed next to drum and bass pace makers, the style is also known as Jungle Drum and Bass.  RICKTOXIC is owner operator at TorontoJungle.com and is a local legend, but it was during his show that people were more visually amusing than the DJ. Unlike indie rock where the crowd all stand forward in what I call an ‘indie-rock induced coma,’ (where viewers are phonetic slaves facing the musicians in awe) the people at Digital Dreams were colourful, textured and activating there molecules into unbridled horses. RICKTOXIC was a quiet deeply, focused, and an approachable DJ that delivered a mountain of appeal and dropped beats deep into my stream altering my audio-blood.

ECHO BEACH STAGE: This stage was a completely different from the Dreams stage and House of Boom stage. The static and strangely diverse crowd was not as friendly for one.  Music-wise, dancey Tech-House and bass lined Deep-House emanated from the elitest electronic stage. It was the most ‘underground’ stage


About Shannon Reid

Writer. Photographer. Illustrator.


3 thoughts on “Concert Review: Digital Dreams Music Festival (Day 1)

  1. Just wanted to letcha know the colourfull leg warmers are called “Fluffies” not “Furries”, Furries are people that dress up in animal costumes and well…you know…yeah :$ aha

    Posted by James Kittee | July 6, 2013, 6:31 pm


  1. Pingback: Digital Dreams Survival Guide | The Girls on Bloor - June 9, 2014

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