Tiga plays it safe
Got word Friday night that Montreal electro-house sensation Tiga would be doing a surprise set that night at Jai Bar at a party for the clothing company Fidel (reportedly run by his girlfriend). Considering the lack of promotion, the club was pretty full for the fey Frenchman, a testament to how hot he is. The crowd was a weird mix, though, including more fashion types than usual doing their best I'm-bored-but-fabulous toe tap dance, as well as a lot of random club-district crawlers trying to get jiggy to new wave covers of Nelly.
To complete the picture, some up-for-it hedonists came out, and some of them were pogoing punk-rock-style by the end of the night.
Given his rep, Tiga played a bit conservatively, though you'd be hard pressed to name a local DJ who'd play similar stuff in an entertainment-district club on a weekend. Many of his song choices were on his last mix CD, and there was a heavy helping of electro covers of cheesy pop hits. And, yes, he did play his version of Sunglasses At Night, but this time he mixed the chords from New Order's Blue Monday over top.
The biggest cheers from the dance floor were reserved for the tracks that stole used rock elements like heavy guitars and punk rock screaming - an odd sound to get people pumping their fists in the air at a place like Jai. Very fun set if you already like what Tiga is doing these days, but if you caught him the last few times he came to town you might have been disappointed that he chose to play it pretty safe this time.
Slut School's in
Checked out a monthly party called Slut School Saturday night at Club 56 featuring DJs Fathom and Fase , who spin together Thursdays at Fez Batik as well. Unlike the Fez Batik residency, which is focused on hiphop and old funk, the Slut School concept is much more open-ended. While still showcasing hiphop, they'll also drop everything from booty and heavy metal to 80s pop and electro-funk. Unlike some of the other participants in open-format nights that have popped up over the past few years, both Fathom and Fase are talented technically and will scratch, cut and mix their unlikely selections at a pretty fast pace. This allows them to dip a little deeper into cheese without losing the dance floor - they'll be onto the next sound before the joke wears thin.
Toronto scenesters are notorious for complaining about the health of the local scene, but some positive signs are giving hope to even the most jaded partiers. It seems that there are still enough people who want to dance until the sun comes up to encourage the opening of two new after-hours clubs. Pulse Niteclub opened its doors last week in the heart of the entertainment district and will soon be doing its best to steal the late-night crowd from System Soundbar just around the corner. It's also got an all-nighter scheduled for Sundays, which will theoretically get the crowd from the Comfort Zone 's all-day Sunday after-party.
Just down the street from the Comfort Zone, Boa-Redux is also making a bid for the committed partier. Word is they won't even have a bar and will be doing the very-late-night thing as well. This brings the number of legal after-hours clubs to an impressive number, considering the size of the city: the massive Guvernment complex, Film Lounge , the Comfort Zone, System Soundbar and these two new additions.
You might hate the music these clubs tend to concentrate on, but it's still an encouraging sign for partying in general.