It was 2007.
My sister and I had hopped on the Go Train escaping the bitter Hamilton weather for a weekend in Toronto. It was her birthday and as luck would have it we had managed to pick up tickets to a massive Ed Banger show at the Mod Club that same evening.
Justice. Busy P. DJ Mehdi. SebAstian. On the bill.
Spotted So-Me weaving through the crowd taking snaps of an incredibly electric Toronto crowd. Perhaps this was pre the ‘Screw Face City’ monicker. There we stood thick in the middle of it. Sweaty and thrilled. My sister and I. My darling Tiyana and my soon to be bestie Metzti. It was unlike any dance party I had been to before, and mild compared to the antics we got up to six months later.
It was at that very moment, when a neon cross lit and blazed across what seemed like a thousand screens and “Water of Nazereth” ripped through the speakers that I had been converted. I wanted to dance forever.
DJ Mehdi and the Ed banger crew have pretty much been the soundtrack to my first few years in the big city. Then came CiRCA and Randomland. About a billion more Justice shows and smoking with Kavinsky. Creeping through back doors and interviewing The Clipse. Running head first in to Thomas Bangalter and staring gobsmacked at one half of a super group that I was obsessed with in my teens. Meeting Simian Mobile Disco and drinking green tea with So-Me, as we watched his first Toronto art show come together.
I was a proud fluorescent adolescent! Dressed in sparkles, leather, lace and neon. Dancing in to the wee hours of the morning, ending up at after hour loft parties and wondering how the hell I wound up there in the first place. In those moments I had made some of the best friends a girl could ask for. Together we’d gather. A pile of young people and in a messy, yet joyful huddle we kicked through the slush and mud of winter right through to the sweaty grime that was summer, and always made it home in one happy heap. Piecing fragments of vibrant memories with bass beats still skipping through our veins.
We were young, and I look back now, we were fearless.
We danced like no one was watching, we danced because everyone did.
So thank you Ed banger for creating our bubble, of pure musical joy.
My besties and I, salute you.
Rest In Peace DJ Mehdi.
It was lovely to have met you,
and I am still sorry for running off with your Finlandia bottle.