Footage and photography: Frankenräver. Additional photos courtesy Jason Clarke.
Promise’s 12 year anniversary party was like a high school reunion for Toronto’s raving community. It was amazing to see all the old headz come out that night to celebrate in style. Indeed, the Promise crew took raving back to its roots by hosting the event at Zero Gravity’s training studio; a gorgeous warehouse in the west end. The authenticity was evident everywhere; from the classic coatcheck set-up to the funky décor complete with chill-out spaces. I really liked the fact that Promise recognized we’re responsible people – they didn’t bother checking our bags; just like da good ol’ days!
Ali Black warmed things up nicely in the main room, ahead of NY’s Big Apple appearance. I must say the acoustics creamed Footwork’s puny sound system which was a relief. Frankie Bones came on surprisingly early at 1, and dropped some of the nastiest remixes I’ve ever heard, combining classic hard house with Technotronics “Pump up the Jam” and Snap’s “I’ve Got the Power.” Bones was focused, intense and on point. The Empire State beaming in the background was a clever tribute. But I was somewhat disappointed to see the hardcore veteran using cd’s instead of vinyl. And his set was super short too; just under an hour. Oh well…Lee Osborne made up for it with a pumping set of proper house that got everyone moving.
Cee Cee Cox and Koen initially got off to a good start, but then the bass cut out and they started playing some loopy tracks that just killed the whole vibe. Any underground DJ worth his salt knows that you have to keep that groove pounding, right ‘til the very end; not mellow things out when peeps are still peaking. And then, just like that it was over. At least it ended one hour later than Footwork at 5 a.m. Truth be told, for the kind of party this was, the place should’ve been rammed out. It never really got packed which was rather disappointing. I’m not sure whether to attribute that to sign o’ the times or inadequate promotion. However, receiving a warm handshake from Irving as I exited the venue reminded me of how much Promise has done to keep the true spirit of raving alive in Toronto. It’s obvious these guys put their hearts into what they do, and for that they are to be commended. After all, these are the folks who bring us the Cherry Blossom Party, Om, Cherry Beach and more, year after year. Big ups to the Promise crew for keeping it real >>>
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