The following is an excerpt from my e-book on Toronto’s rave scene. More excerpts can be found in the December and January archives on this blog. Like what you’ve read? Remember to click on the Facebook “Like” button at the bottom of this post 🙂
TUNED IN, MASHED OUT: Confessions of a Rave Junkie
Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved.
Griff & co. rolled out in a raucous spliff smoking, candy chomping convoy of 3 automobiles. We touched down at the Automotive Building shortly after 9:30 p.m. The line-up was already starting to get hectic, but we got in after a 10 minute wait which was pretty damn good considering there must have been at least 300 people waiting outside. The AB’s interior was divided into 2 ENORMOUS rooms crowned with ridiculously high ceilings. Hard house boomed away in 1 while drum & bass rumbled in the other. The sheer magnitude of the space resulted in audio overlap which was kind of annoying. In its entirety, the AB was roughly the size of a few football fields put together. Holy shit….Dose & Syrous really outdid themselves this time! And it was still early, judging from all the empty space we had to explore. Already, there were a few hundred ravers milling around inside. Our posse consisted of Da Underground Crew: Griff, Tonya, Blaine, Christine, Renée, Chris, Tara, Jake, Ryan & myself. Reese, Anna, Deb, Pete, Tippa & his girlfriend evened out the score. And of course, we all had friends & others we expected to meet, rolling with their individual crews. We screamed and hi-5’ed each other for having made it inside & some1 took group shots with a camera. Next, we picked a sweet spot in the house room at a perfect distance from the speakers. This was our designated chill-out / meeting place for the night. Griff, Jake & Ryan gleefully inflated their bubble chairs with an air pump. WIKKED!!! Oh my God…I could hardly fucking wait!!! Multi-colored lasers were going full tilt & funky visuals played out on giant screens. Us girls started dancing & chatting, chilling out for the time being cuz we had a long fucking night ahead of us. I checked out T.R.I.P. & scored a couple of condoms. There was a bar available (not that we were gonna be drinking since we’d be dosing) & a coat-check which Tippa & his girl decided to use. Can you imagine the line-up for jackets at the end of the night? They’re out of their fucking minds. The rest of the gang stashed our coats into garbage bags (which we marked with fluorescent tape) & knapsacks.
After the chairs were inflated, I plopped down next to Jake. It was a pretty tight squeeze but it was alright. Besides, Jake’s kind of cute too in his cyber gear complete with loose fitting shirt & tie, colorful beads & polychromatic hair. He’s half Filipino, half Italian. We shared a bag of jellybeans while speculating how great this party was going to be. “Hey, I really like your costume,” he mused as he touched the knobs of my antennae. A formidable charge was already building in the atmosphere. My skin was tingling & I hadn’t even dosed yet! Across the way, Griff was chatting with 1 of his friends. He was dressed in a super colorful, kaleidoscopic looking outfit. His bells were completely covered in stuffed animals & plush toys, while glo necklaces illuminated his fluorescent orange & purple psychedelic tee surmounted by loops of multi-colored beads. A luminescent rod glowed inside of his mouth while he spoke and that spiked, green hair added a couple of inches to his 6′ 4″ frame to make him look even taller & freakier but in a good way. Way to go Griff! Blaine & Christine shared another chair as they rocked back & forth as if riding a wave. I swear if they popped that fucking chair I was gonna burst out laughing. What a night this was going to be…
By 1:30, the place was absolutely rammed. You could not see the floor for the trees, Freakin’ in full swing if you please. Thousands upon thousands of ravers of every possible shape, size & description were hyping shit up like I’d never seen before. Every1 was reprazenting: from candys to cybers, gravers to gays, ginos, trannies, originals & of course, costume freaks. I’d already dosed a Superman & was waiting for it to kick in, hopefully soon. Tonya, Jake, Christine & I decided to take a walk, hoping to find Joi & the dance crew. It was so fucking loud that we had to scream to make ourselves heard above the ruckus. We waded through an ocean of optical mindbuggery as ravers tripped one another out in crazy, colorful costumes. Vamps, witches, werewolves, fairies, comic book heroes, cartoon characters, manga maniacs & freakazoids decorated in fluorescent tubes & glo-stix were in order. A girl wearing a bodysuit covered in candy rings giggled as a guy proceeded to munch some off her chest. Nice…. Meanwhile, I kept my eyes peeled for Shastri & any1 from his crew but to no avail. If I spotted them in the midst of all this madness it would be a major stroke of luck. Carlos was supposed to be here with his friends as well. Soon we were caught in a traffic jam halfway between the house & the jungle room, right where the sound was bleeding. It was a muddy jumble of scrambled beats which proved highly disconcerting to my increasingly heightened senses. Not to mention, steaming HOT. It was pure hell as we waited for our compacted bodies to get going. Christine was so lucky she had 1 of those little toy fans. My wig began to feel horribly scratchy & it was all I could do to prevent myself from ripping it right the fuck off. Christine, all dolled up as Snow White, suddenly decided she was a real princess after all & shoved the dinosaur dude standing idly in front of me. “What the fuck are you waiting for Barney, GET MOVING!” she snapped. Barney took 1 look at this snarling, Asian Snow White & decided it was best to follow orders. Tonya & I cracked up as we instantly progressed forward. It always helps to have at least 1 pushy person in your crew, especially at a megarave.
As we got closer to the jungle room, I started rushing really, really hard. Holy shit…Eric wasn’t joking – this stuff was strong. My heart raced like mad as my body tingled all over & I began to feel tremendously pukey. I hoped to God that I wasn’t gonna hurl right here, right now, in the middle of a fucking crowd. And if so, Barney would be the 1st to get it. I swallowed desperately as I struggled to keep my upchuck down. A pair of Jedi warriors engaged in mock combat brandished their swords ahead of me. I was seriously tripping out on their light sabres as they wiggled before my eyes. An ecstatic fever swept over me as I broke out in a sweat. Penetrating basslines from that monstrosity of a sound system were beating in sync with my heart. Doof doof doof doof…. My entire being pulsated in time to the music. Even my gums were vibrating. Suddenly I became distinctly aware of this amazing, uptempo house track with a bouncy groove & wobbly sub-low resonating through the atmosphere, tripping me out even further as I heard this vocal loop cresting above acid horns like a happy surfer :
“When you feel that rhythm, moving thru your system… feel that rhythm, moving thru your system…”
Apparently other ravers thought it was amazing too judging from the massive screaming, head bopping, whistle blowing session which ensued. I turned around & said, “Guys, I’m fucking rushing!” I put my arms around Christine & Tonya who were behind me. Jake joined in for a group hug as we danced on the spot. I heard him singing along as the happy feeling spread like wildfire through the crowd. Even Christine got caught up in contact high delirium as she screamed with excitement.
Tuned In, Mashed Out – On Sale Now for only $0.99 on Amazon! (£0.75 for the UK massive).
To take advantage of this limited time offer, visit:
*Check out the original Freakin 98 Flyer in the Vintage Rave Flyer Gallery under November archives*