Daftest Party Ever - Busy P and Co. Make Mod Club Go Crazy
It's Sunday night, at around 9:30 or so, and my friends and I are outside the Mod Club, primed and cocked for the A.D/D-produced Dafter Party. Only problem is, we're too early.
I'd heard all kinds of hearsay surrounding the event, rumors about "limited capacity" and tickets being sold out; enough to chill the heart and balls of anyone who really wanted to go.
And I really wanted to go.
Even though I knew next to nothing about the DJs who would be spinning, I somehow instinctively grasped that this would be one of those parties I would remember all year long. It also didn't hurt that some of my favorite people were going and I knew we'd do it up proper.
So we were too early and the staff was having dinner. They told us to come back at 11 and not worry about it 'cos we were prepared like a troupe of boy-scouts, tickets in hand. After killing a few beers at a Portuguese sports bar, we head on back to find a line-up already in place and the doors still closed. We queue up and find out that, much to our relief, our tickets guarantee us a spot and all we have to do is hang out on their patio, suck back some vodka and wait until the doors open. No problem.
With all of the tickets sold, the venue could only fit 50 freebies and those spots were gone within ten minutes or so, leaving a lot of people outside with no way of getting in. Maybe next time they'll buy tickets.
Eventually they let us all in and, like Charlie at the chocolate factory, we ran all over the place, getting some drinks and psyching ourselves up for what was undoubtedly going to be a great night.
Soon enough, the first DJ came on and got right into some heavy shit that probably would've done better later in the night. He was a bit of mixed bag but I was so pumped that I got warmed up anyway. For most of the first set there was a big hole in the dance floor which was just fine with me 'cos I like space and I knew that it would soon fill up.
When the main players finally got on, the place went nuts and people packed the area in front of the stage, jumping up and down and shaking their fists like a room full of monkeys who'd just been tossed a crate of bananas. It was a totally different vibe from, say, Labour of Love at the Guvernment or your average dance party at The Boat. The crowd was actually into it and didn't hesitate to express their enthusiasm.
Jeffrey Addison, a local DJ and member of TMDP, agrees:
"I think the success of this party is largely due to everyone there knowing it was going to be a good time... well, that, and the fact it was a Banger party celebrating Daft Punk. I honestly didn't feel any bad vibe during the night, everyone I ran into was high on life... or something. Basically I was surrounded by friends, and everyone was there for one reason - Daft Punk. [They were like] an old friend."
I don't know how it started but a bunch of folks got up on the stage and, instead of security being dicks and kicking them off, more and more people got up there until it was just an extension of the dance floor.
After meeting some promoter, a dude I'd known at OCAD, he got me up on stage and I hung out there for awhile, taking the scene from a completely different angle than I'm used to. The champagne was flowing freely and there were couples bent over speakers; it was sheer madness on a scale you don't often see during the show.
Pretty much everything Kavinsky, SebastiAn and Busy P played was bang-on and they did it while being jostled and surrounded by a horde of fans. Whether you knew any of the songs or not, everything was so tight. These guys are masters at balancing a play list with new stuff, a whiff of cheese and some older jams as well. The show didn't even begin to wind down until much later in the morning and by then there were more people on stage then there were off it. I was ready to go home but there ended up being one more thing to do:
Jeff: "After the Mod Club my friends and I were slowly walking east along college - kind of heading towards Ourspace and kind of looking for a pool to jump into. Anyways, we found these two dudes from London... or, rather, they found us and were like, "Hey, do you guys know of any good after-parties?"
They looked rather freaked out when I mentioned W (that sketchy joint on Queen St. West) so we ended up taking them to Ourspace, which as it turns out, was the after-after-party for Busy P et al. after the show. We wanted in but we had no idea how we were going to make this happen. I'll let Jeff tell the story:
"First of all, we weren't on the guest list, so we had little hope of getting in. That's why I was like, oh my god, these kids are following us thinking there's going to be a party! Just as we were about 100 yards from Ourspace, a giant purple - we'll say it was purple - a giant purple bus rolls up, and I'm talking shit to these kids, and my two friends are frantically tapping my arm, trying to get me to look. I look, and it still didn't entirely register. So we reach Ourspace and there are four - I believe it was four - rough and tough bouncers outside (with no line up, mind you) so I go up to one and say, 'Hey, can I come up? Please?' He says 'Are you on the guest list?' and, you know, I wanted to be completely honest... so I said no. He then goes on to tell me in so many words that I should be nowhere near him. Just at that moment Avery (one of the guys who runs Ourspace - Japhet) shows up and lets us in, but not before one half of Daft Punk, Busy P, and DJ Falcon lumber by us. All of a sudden the giant bus makes sense so I try to sober up a little. I can't express how good my timing was and how lucky we were at that moment.
Busy P is a fucking role model. To tell you the truth, after meeting him, I just can't believe this guy. I mean, he was actually willing to go to the store and get more beer! He's the head of Ed Banger Records, he manages Daft Punk... Here, I'm going over to my record box and counting my Banger records."
So with those boys from London bringing up the rear, we go on in and it's not the biggest crowd I've ever seen but that's a good thing 'cos it's really fucking hot, the kind of heat that makes your whole body sweat. I spent a good part of my time wandering from room to room. The Asian Mob were spinning in the main room but I didn't pay much attention to what they were playing... Truth be told, I was a bit overwhelmed from the party and needed to decompress. Getting introduced to famous people is awkward when you don't know who they are. Jeff managed to be a bit more social than I:
"Ourspace is always a good time, though the back studios weren't bumping, it's completely understandable that they didn't want every sketchy scenester in the city at this party (which is why I was surprised they let me in)... I mean, Daft Punk was at their house. We weren't there for a long time, but a good time it was. The party was fairly small, ran into some old friends, got a bad-ass pic with Busy, and finally burnt out... It was a little surreal partying just feet away from Thomas Bangalter.
Though DJs will inevitably seem like super stars, I don't look at Daft as super star DJs. How do we know these robots are even Thomas and Guy? Does it matter? They're robots, and they're cultural icons. That's all that matters to me. Daft Punk aren't human, they're robots. Years from now I'll look back on the weekend they were in Toronto and know I was apart of something special."
If you, like me, are still wishing it was Sunday, here's a video and some pictures to reignite that desire to freeze-frame. If you didn't go, you can check these out and see what you missed.
Even more pictures:
Photo: Pregnant Goldfish.
Jeffrey Addison hooks Dr. Sketchy's up with mixes. Go listen to 'em and maybe draw some naked ladies.
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