… continued from part 1 “Toronto Burns Bright @ Nuit Blanch 2012“…
So once I dropped Jon off at his place I hopped on the bike and cycled a short distance to OCAD neighbourhood where I was invited to, by a completely new and unknown crew of Toronto burners to hang out. I only met them the night before, at a fun lil PJ and Lingerie house party. Yup. The burner comraderie goes along way, so I went along with it.
Someone came to open the gate, and I walked into the place, to find a couple of German couch surfers and David, the host, who was getting ready to chop up some massive blocks of cheese – these guys planned on giving out midnight grilled-cheese sandwiches to passer-bys around OCAD.
So we start chopping up the cheese, cut some olives, then hunger strikes. David says, “hold-on, lemme fix you something special” and whips up a beautiful salmon, avocado and brie sandwich for me. I plug the phone in and blows out some tunes.
After cuttin and eatin all that cheese, I was getting very sleepy, and crashed on the couch, covering my face with the scarf I usually use to hide from dust storms (yes I washed it people). Some hours later, around midnight, people started showing up with all the necessary elements to make grilled cheese sandwiches on the street: a Coleman camp stove, extra gas canisters, and a pan. All good.
I woke up, washed my face, said hello to the crew, put on the high-tops on and zipped away out of downtown-mayhem to Trinity-Bellwoods park. Closer to home and friendly, it’s a good hangout year-round. Not before long and I run into Disco, Charlie Brown, and their respective ladies. Hello, hugs, found a picnic table to share and observed a crew dancing to old skool hip-hop coming out of an old van. Not event a minute and cycle-mounted Toronto Police show up killing the party. They leave and the party is back. Someone said, “ah, our tax money at work. Go catch some bad ass mahfucakas and leave the kids alone, will yas”. Pink Floyd undertone carry throughout the night.
Text messages flying and more people show up, we decide to head up on foot and on wheels to the El Mocambo, to see T Minus, JD Mack (he’s everywhere!), Rollin Cash and the rest of the gang. The cyclists made it first, only to find out the Elmo was not only hosting our dear DJ friends but also about a thousand under-aged teeny ravers. We parted the sea of whacked children to the door and were told the show is over. Disco, Charlie and Phillips show up in a cab and the ladies right after, it’s done, guys, gotta move on. Ok then, heading down the street to see Gibbs at the BreakEnter Nuit Black event. Here we go.
Quick stopover at a corner store for chips and pee, we load on salt and fat and roll through the back alley into what could become Toronto’s next underground venue. The security (just a bunch of guys, I don’t believe they’ve done this before) is nervous and barking orders. Yes, I’ll take the bag to the coatcheck, mister big guy. And yes, those weird items in the ziplock are El-Wire, bike lights, tap water (he gave it a whiff), extra layers of warmth and a zip lock with Cliff Bars that made it back from California. I handed the last Cliff Bar to the coat check girl and she was happy. It was a white chocolate macademia crunchy type. Really good at 3am.
So we walk in, me dressed like weirdo out of Mad Max – it’s the End of The World after all, isn’t it? and the space was re-configured properly with excellent, clear sound and serious bass. Gibbs was on, and in thirty seconds I was hooked. This is the real show, right here, right now. Forget about the other stuff, the busy streets, the ex girlfriends, Gibbs was pulling no punches. Whoa. I was sucked right to the front only stopped by a massive lineup of bassbins, clear sign that Justin was here.
The music was industrial and melodic at once. It was perfect. There was a continuous beat, there was a story, it was heavy but dancy. The room was up in the air. The crowd was good. “This is burning man” the voice kept repeating in my head. The burner influence was evident all night long – from the underground art shows to the streets, to the burners, and borealers/’harvesters, I met along the way and welcomed me all night long, plus some of the Break Enter crew are burners, too. I let go and went dancing, the swirl of audio mass hits hard, but soft. How the hell do you do this Gibbs.
There were other DJs on the list for the night, and sadly I missed Martin Fazekas who went on first, mf also played House of Dust on the Playa and the Toronto After-Burn party. Apparently one of the import DJs didn’t make it, but that’s irrelevant to my story. The night belonged to Gibbs. “Gibbs you mahfucaka” I pulled him aside after his brilliant set, “I saw all this art tonight but here we are the art – this is the art”. Yes, said Gibbs. he knows.
And that’s the lesson of Nuit Blanche 2012, pARTicipation it’s where it’s at.
Now get out of my RV.