Bud Light Sensation took over the Rogers Centre this weekend, filling the stadium with a feral flock of electronic aficionados. The all white party included elaborate stage designs, funky LED wristbands, scantily-clad entertainers, a whole lot of pyro effects and a crowd decked out in an assortment of costumes. Some decided to forgo clothing altogether, but we'll get to that later.
Opening the night was the Sensation staple, the Powder twin, Mr. White who gradually energized club goers. The track "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses was tucked into the night and was quite fitting for the occasion. The quick rock break provided the fuel to those in for hours of endless house and Top 40 based electronic dance music acts like Eric Prydz, Afrojack and Bingo Players.
The theme of the night was "Into the Wild" and the spectacle attempted to bring out one's animal spirit through a mixture of sight to sound artistry. It was hard to miss the honeycomb fossil-like fixture that spanned across the ceiling. It hovered over the dancers below and wound straight into the DJ booth. DJs were enclosed in a tubular enclave with a panorama of waterfalls, neon lasers and fire shots sprouting about.
The sensory environment had attendees riled, raised and ridiculous as they maneuvered from section to section. Everyone was tripping, spinning and canoodling each other's glowing selves in the process. Perhaps one of the weirdest sights was the scene outside the main attraction-the hallways filled with daringly exposed lads and lasses sporting circus-like outfits, fairy headpieces, and engaging in NSFW antics that prompted double, actually triple takes.
After Eric Pyrdz wrapped together the most cohesively original set, Afrojack pummeled his "Ten Feet Tall" tune and had babes belting the words in true wasted form.
While there was some variety, it did feel like much of the electro static permeated in similar fashion. Still, Maarten Hoogstraten's (Bingo Players) awareness of the crowd reigned the night into a blissful end, proving even as a solo act that he delivers. He was in good company too-burlesque dancers kept the gawking in tact and the array of spirited tunes like "Cry (Just A Little)" maintained alertness in the room right until the 3 AM finale.
The event didn't just house the young bucks. Baby boomers let their untamed inner youth go wild and proved that contagious beat synergies can and should be relished regardless of age. There wasn't any cut eye either, but rather comments like, "I want to be like that when I'm older" rolling off tongues and prompting new found pals.
Stage performers combined tribal colours, paint splatter, and animal props to showcase a rugged yet tropical display. The crowd, although, seemed happier flexing shirtless.
It's debatable if there was one standout performance of the night. It felt more like each act piggybacked each other and had the formula down to perfection. However, an imaginative set from DJ Baggi Begovic did make a lasting impression.
Bud Light Sensation wrapped another successful year in the 416, and while we've become somewhat accustomed to news coverage about deaths, fights and "inappropriate conduct" at dance music events, Sensation avoided such drama. There weren't angry "ravers" (or at least one's worth the worry). Instead everyone came to dance and forget the normalcy of life while tapping into their primitive selves. Mission accomplished.
The inaugural event first launched in Amsterdam in 2000 and the escapade is organized by the longstanding electronic enterprise, ID&T, the same folks behind Tomorrowland. Sensation has hit up venues in Dubai (2014 marked the first outdoor event), Russia, Brazil, Mexico and many more.
THUMP's team will be bringing you more from Sensation including interviews, and videos.
View our Bud Light Sensation gallery here.