by Stephanie Casino
Hopping all over the Toronto map, Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition took over the city this week, injecting more awareness and appreciation for DJ culture and turntablism into Toronto than ever before.
Thursday night at The Hoxton started off not much different from other typical party night at this venue: long unreasonable line ups, gruff employees, flocks of overdressed girls, and security chain smoking at the doors. The Hoxton’s narrow stage felt too small to house all of that equipment, and the dance floor seemed too small for anyone to get their real dance on, but that did not stop people from trying.
Toronto’s own Torro Torro kicked of day 3 throwing down Diplo and moombahton like it was nobody’s business. The crowd was completely in love with this head bobbing duo. The championships showcased the finalists from Jamaica, US, South Korea, and Canada. Jamaica’s DJ Inferno went on first with a reggae and trap heavy mix, ending with a Rob Ford spin on Jay Z’s “Tom Ford” which, obviously, got a mad reaction from the crowd. Canada’s Adam Doubleyou showed off his amazing technical skills, pounding away at the drum machine. South Korea’s Acorn brought a strange mix of old school (“old” as in 1965’s famous Woolly Bully) with new school beats. But it was DJ Trentino from Chicago that caused the crowd to throb, scream, and fist pump. His skilled DJ showmanship (flipping in circles, mixing from under the knee, from behind) in combination with the crowd pleasing blend of house, reggae, trap, and gangster rap made him the obvious choice for winner of the night 3 finals.
Uber talented A-Trak ended the night with his signature mind blowing house and electronica influenced set. The Hoxton vibrated till 2am, quite possibly wrecking every attendee’s work ethic for the following day, but leaving all in attendance feeling lifted.
Friday night elimination took place at The Danforth Music Hall, a much better suited venue for a DJ Competition. Able to accommodate 1500 guests the venue seemed to be at full capacity. People clad in beanies, high tops, and leather leggings filled the venue, heads bobbing and shoulders shrugging in tune with the beats. The night immediately had a different vibe from the clubby feel of the Hoxton – hip hop heads from far and wide were in attendance to see DJs Maseo and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of De la Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.
Night 4 finalists were DJs from Switzerland, Brazil, Albania, Spain, and Belgium. The most memorable sets of the night were DJ Vicky from Albania whose show inspired the entire theatre to maniacally hop around, Spain’s DJ LaEse, and DJ Madfingaz from Belgium showing off his quick wrist flicks and scratching techniques. At the end, it was DJ Marquinhos Espinosa and his Brazilian house influence that stole the winning title for the night.
DJ Maseo and Ali Shaheed played the entire Best Of Tribe album getting hip hop heads rowdy with excitement. The crowd screamed every familiar lyric, hands up in the air, cheering and jamming to the legendary DJs. Much to the dismay of the attendees the party shut down at 2:30am but an after party location was announced, causing a good percentage of the attendees to flee quickly once they realized their favorite DJs would be taking the rains on the after hours entertainment.
Four days into the world finale Championship Red Bull Thre3style already made a huge impact on the city. People could not stop talking about how epic the night was leaving the venue. Saturday night finals were a history in the making, but that’s a different story.
Image courtesy of Red Bull