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Toronto is Awesome: My Relationship with a City, from Pop-Up Parties to Mash-Up Madness

Toronto is awesome. Yes, I am a Torontonian and you may find me biased; but let me just say that with all of the new music, live venues, pop-up parties, and unique people you encounter on a daily (if not hourly) basis: Toronto is awesome. I admittedly have my moments where I find this city to be an annoying boyfriend who nags on me at times and we may have our moments of doubt and frustration with each other, but I always get over it and realize that I love this city with all of my heart. This week I’m reviewing the coolest shows I checked out and some unique, new parties emerging on the Toronto scene.

Kings of the NorthThe resurgence of pop-up parties around the world has reached an all-new level, and I experienced this with an “Arabian Nights” themed pop-up by Vaudeville T.O earlier this month. Admittedly, I felt extremely cool and important as I walked down the streets of Toronto to some obscure party my friend heard of, then entered a closed down shawarma joint, pulled open the velvet curtains and revealed a massive gathering of all the sharp young adults in this city. Hookahs blazing, shawarmas in abundance, and drinks a-flowing, this was one pop-up party I was happy I didn’t miss. The top level of the “restaurant” vibrated with the amazing Kings of the North DJ set, getting everyone on the dance floor that was created all on its own that night. The music selection was amazing and I was really thankful I fell upon their set as every song brought the party to a whole new level. I encourage all of you to check out Vaudeville T.O on Twitter to receive all the “secrets” on the pop-up party scene…and if you don’t have Twitter, stop living under a rock and get it…if only for this one reason.

The Other ColourSpeaking of Twitter, a dear friend of mine and a great musician, Earl Pereira (formerly of Wide Mouth Mason), is the frontman of The Steadiesand a musician that I actually initially met on Twitter! Oh, the world of social media these days. Earl and the boys were in Toronto at The Central for a show with The Other Colour and Renée Parr, and this roster definitely heated up what would have been a very cold night in the city. All the acts were very lively, bringing a great variety of sound and crowd involvement. I was also impressed by the “lady-shaped” beer taps at The Central as well…how the hell did they MacGyver that up?!

Moving on from the live show, I went to The Ballroom for a friend’s birthday. When I was told a cover band would be playing, I thought “ok, should be fun for dancing”. Wow, when I said “dancing” I did not anticipate BPM Krew making us have the workout of our lives on that dance floor…I was actually scared we may fall through from the top floor right to the bottom. Note:BPM Krew is not a cover band. They “replace the DJ” with mash-ups of every song you could possibly imagine, presented with a lively “krew” and amazing on-stage presence. I love it when a band gets involved with the audience, and this band got low with us, danced on tables with us, and jumped just as high as us. I mean it; one of the members was actually on a table while playing his keytar. Needless to say, we left extremely satisfied and itching for the next dance party once it was over.

After these events, it really made me realize how lucky I am to live here. Who else could go from a pop-up party, to a sick live music show, to a bowling alley with a mash-up band?! I know we have our bickering moments, sometimes feeling like we clash in every way and thinking that it may be time to breakup…but then Toronto gives me a few weeks just like these, and I remember why I stick with my Toronto relationship; because, like I said, Toronto is awesome.