Review: Total Request Rave 7

It’s an annual event that has become iconic within Toronto’s rave and EDM community, and on November 10th, this year’s Total Request Rave – the seventh so far – lived up to the hype.

Featuring two rooms of sound and a stacked lineup of some of the world’s top Happy Hardcore performers – including DJs Gammer, Al Storm, Entity, Fracus and Darwin, along with vocalist Chwhynny and MC Obie – the event was the culmination of months of work by local promoters Nocturnal Commissions and Embedded Entertainment, in collaboration with UK based record label Hardcore Underground. It’s hard to think of a lineup on this continent that could rival the one that came together for TRR7, which is what explains why attendees arrived from as far as Texas, Seattle, and even the UK to attend the show.

The rave took place at Grand Prix Kartways, a massive event space located in Downsview Park. The combination of go-karts, arcade games, and rave music proved to be an irresistible lure, and the event easily sold out. It was clear upon arrival that the stage was set for a night to remember – the decor was brilliant and supplemented by outstanding lighting and full fledged sound from Lambda Point out of Quebec. Pleasant but professional security and harried but effective staff made for a safe party setting.

With a lineup like that, the sets were phenomenal all night, as expected. The heart of Total Request Rave is the Total Request set, an hour of music voted on by the audience in the weeks leading up to the rave and then ultimately decided on the fly through the use of glowsticks as voting devices. It’s unique to Toronto (devised by local DJ Dynamic) and renowned globally, and has typically provided the peak to the night. This time, however, the set – though it went off flawlessly and was an unequivocal crowd pleaser – was followed by the world’s top Happy Hardcore DJ, Gammer, and the energy in the place (already immense) simply went through the roof for his set.

All told, there’s no doubt that this was one of the premier Happy Hardcore events ever to touch down in Toronto, and it’s difficult to see how the cast and crew will find a way to top it for next year’s installment. Nonetheless, they always find a way – and this year was no exception.

Words: Tim Ellis

Photography: Craig Symonds, LoudNights.net