(By: Josie Mills, with photos by Mansoor Tanweer)
Senseless, held in Toronto on July 10, promised to be an “immersive experience using music, art, technology, food, scents, architecture, and innovative design.” But that is a hard promise to keep, especially for a new concert offering.
Evergreen Brickworks was an incredible venue that proved to be the perfect setting to spend a Saturday afternoon and evening. The architecture and history that surrounds the building added a special touch to the event.
Although there was a large space to fill, there were things to see and do all around the artsy brick factory. Unique art installations were available to view for those who needed a break from dancing in a hidden hallway behind the stage. The indoor venue also had the advantage of allowing the event to go on uninterrupted despite the downpour outside.
The event got started around 4 p.m. and typically at shows, the biggest performers are set to play last and the newer ones open up for them. Senseless tried to switch up this structure and have some of the more well-known DJs and local favourites play their sets at the beginning. Unfortunately, this means that late-comers missed the first set from Nature of Music, a Toronto duo made up of Mazi and Kian who teamed up back in 2009. But, fortunately, this did mean that those who came later got to catch some smaller DJ sets that they might have usually missed at the beginning of the event.
Next up was Rodriguez Jr., a French producer and DJ who played an incredible live set. To make his set even more special, dancer Ariel Tal performed an amazing short aerial silk dance routine on a piece of white silk hanging from the roof rafters. These acts were followed by Frank and Tony, a dance music collaboration between veterans Francis Harris and Anthony Collins. But the party really started when Vancouver-based Daniel Gardner, who goes by the stage name Frivolous, took over. He stood out from the rest of the sets because he seemed to be extremely into the music and had great energy.
After 7 p.m., the second room in the venue was opened up to explore. This was where Isolée, a minimalist house producer, got people dancing, followed by popular Canadian DJ Maher Daniel and powerful DJ duo Fahad and Taimur. The second room proved to be a nice change of scenery and offered a variety in performances.
The big name of the night was Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED), a British electronic music producer, DJ and singer who is based out of London. He put on a flawless set in the main room that ended the festival on a high note.
DJ fans and those who love to dance were in for a treat attending Senseless because there was no stop to the music. For those that weren’t dance and techno junkies, the sets may have seemed a bit repetitive, but those who knew specific songs and styles of the acts didn’t stop grooving along to the beats. For those who could only dance and enjoy music for so long, there wasn’t much else to do.
As for smells, the food was all locally sourced and delicious, with lots of options for vegetarians and vegans, and it brought some lovely smells. To enhance the sound, there were bass enhancing backpacks available to rent for those who wanted to feel like they were right next to the blaring speakers no matter where they were in the venue. There was also a small virtual reality booth that had high tech masks and remotes used to virtually draw or watch a virtual music video.
The event didn’t exactly immerse every sense like it promised or push the boundaries as far as it could have. There was lots of room left in the venue for more people to enjoy the music it had to offer, but this is only the event’s first year. Senseless deserves another year to prove itself and further push the boundaries of sights, sounds and everything festival.
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