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Summer Daze series proves nature doesn't hate Toronto

Posted by Brendan Arnott / June 2, 2014

Summer Daze TorontoAfter one of the most grueling winters in decades, it's natural for Torontonians to feel like the planet is conspiring against them. But at events like Saturday's Summer Daze dance party, it's easy to be struck by the opposite sentiment; that maybe sometimes nature just wants everything to be perfect.

Summer Daze TorontoBlue skies, budding flowers and an idyllic view of Lake Ontario (which, if you squint a little, looks vaguely Ibiza-esque) were all available from the intimate patio of Gossip Restaurant, alongside a giant fountain of St. Michael holding two palm leaves to the sky. The venue felt perfectly integrated with the park environment and passerbys, and I spent the first half hour gawking at the view and people watching.

Summer Daze TorontoHighlights include an older man lugging his tiny dog, whose wobbly paws were oddly synching up with the music, around in a Baby Bjorn, and a Tibetan couple who broke out a few quick MJ-inspired dance moves as they walked past and laughed to each other, obviously still in love.

Summer Daze TorontoOpener Shea Marie provided a platter of deep selections to start things off, using a ton of looped chords and dusty organic piano sounds to get dancers moving.

The growing crowd of swaying bodies responded receptively to MK's remix of FCL's summertime anthem "It's You", and the crowd was a mishmash of folks: from stylish "young professionals" to a guy wearing an inexplicable t-shirt reading "oh yeah, that's the stuff right there!" to a ready-to-dance queer presence.

Summer Daze TorontoA formidable sound system sent ripples through the white curtains arranged for the event, which were a small but much-appreciated visual touch. Members Only really kicked the party into gear, beginning their set with Session Victim's key-heavy "Good Intentions", and airing out snappily percussive crowd pleasers like Genius of Time's Whitney sampling " Houston, we Have a Problem," a staple for any summertime celebration.

Despite a few times when the music suddenly cut out for several seconds (power supply issues, maybe?) the vibe steadily built until Hercules and Love Affair alumni Kim Ann Foxman took the stage, delivering a set worthy of the sunset taking place over the lake. Drawing equally from 90's Brooklyn house as well as sneakily-inserted acid percolations, it was the ideal way to close out the month of May.

Summer Daze TorontoSummer Daze is continuing throughout the rest of the summer season with sets from Waifs & Strays, Dyed Soundsystem and a host of other International house heroes still to be announced. For an event promising more intimate and gorgeous patio venues, grabbing a season pass before they disappear is highly advised.

MORE PHOTOSSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze Toronto20140531-SummerDaze-21.jpgSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze TorontoSummer Daze Toronto

Photos by Matt Forsythe. Find Brendan Arnott on Twitter.



summerdaze / June 2, 2014 at 04:15 pm
correction! opening dj name is Shea Marie :)

also; you forgot to mention two more artists that destroyed the dance floor later at night, Mayaan Nidam from Berlin and Terence Kissner from TO

cheers to your amazing article that gave the party justice and a great ear for music!

thank you for attending and see you at the next one :)
Steve / June 2, 2014 at 04:16 pm
No mention of the headliner, Maayan Nidam?
Shawn replying to a comment from Steve / June 2, 2014 at 04:45 pm
There were other headliners there champ! Why call out just one? You yourself are missing Kim Ann Foxman there sparky. You still coming down ore what?
Steve / June 2, 2014 at 08:44 pm
Hey Shawn - Kim Ann Foxman was included in the article, hence why I didn't mention her (and mentioned the omission of Mayaan. I think most people with any sense would agree that MN was the main draw on Saturday. Get a life, kid.
Nessa / June 10, 2014 at 02:56 pm
Very impressed with whoever did the girl's face painting.

Other than that, so excited to be in the next one.
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