ALL THE LOVE AT ALL DAY I DREAM
When seasoned DJs speak of their craft, they often mention that the art lies in telling a story or taking the listener on a journey, transporting the dancer from here to there, wherever ‘there’ may be. Last Sunday, July 17th, All Day I Dream touched down in Toronto and it was a beautiful journey. For countless revellers, we embarked on an undulating, groove-filled narrative that unified us into a lot of love, happiness and memorable moments.
Lee Burridge, Matthew Dekay and YokoO took us through their dreamy, ethereal house and techno, deep bass lines and rolling melodies. Their personalities shone from the booth, creating a harmonic atmosphere that was upfliting and inspiring. I kept thinking of how the origins of house music had intentionally offered a space for people to let go and feel like themselves, a place to feel free. This event softly yet powerfully created that space. Standing on the periphery, watching people move, it was like we were being magnetized by warm, hypnotic rhythms toward the large, pagoda structure draped in fabric and gilded with lanterns. It was a gentle open-air enclave delineating the stage and welcoming partygoers. Trees in full greenery framed the historic Fort York site, bars dotted the edge, and the weather was superb with mostly blue skies and picturesque clouds overhead, à la ADID. The air was thick with good vibes.
I walked in during YokoO’s groovy opening set and noticed a flow of conversation, people swaying and dancing. Nothing seemed abrasive - from the hanging lanterns to the wood columns and material swathed overhead, to the living walls behind the ground-level booth, it took a moment to calibrate the absence of any metal rigging, flashing lights or elevated stage, and how this tangibly soothed the overall atmosphere.
Matthew Dekay melted his pristine sound with YokoO, at times playing solo, other times the two playing back to back before Burridge masterfully brought it home for the evening. Together, the three created a fluid, extended set of truly incredible music. I think it was my favourite set I’ve ever heard live, of any event or show I’ve ever seen. It was a continuous stream of irresistible, layered house with the deepest bass and sink-hole grooves punctuated by laughter and a carefree yet focused air at the decks.
The ADID concept made its initial appearance on a rooftop in Brooklyn back in 2011, by design creating a dreamlike, soft atmosphere to contrast the harsh, urban horizon. It’s a reminder of the emotive beauty in music, surrounded by an equivalent soft ambience. Burridge had created a mix years before titled All Day I Dream Of Her, inspired by the distinct sounds he’d found at that time, which ultimately led to this growing, intercontinental event series.
Watching Lee work with unbridled enthusiasm and humour, and to feel the day as it unfolded, inspired me personally to want (even more) to work with the world in a way that is undeniably marked by love, to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that success comes from a place of so much goodwill and warmth, connection to ones own authentic vision and collaboration with others.
The experience was an ocean of good vibes, emanating from the happy maestro at the root of the event, himself embodying a contagious joie de vivre. I don't know Lee personally, but when I think of the quote, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’, it's someone like him who comes to mind, that state of being. His energy exuded love and we responded in kind. So many smiles, and I thought, the world needs this warmth. It was the perfect experience to be the change.
In this global moment, it's not necessarily more words we need, it's a feeling, this dance, and ADID touched us so we could easily embody it. Near the end, Burridge dropped Who Keeps Changing Your Mind by South Street Player and that was pure bliss with a collective bounce - it was all the love. We were in the midst of something special and I couldn’t help but think that this was an event that would be talked about for a long time.
The soundtrack was beautiful with a soulfulness that struck chords, the playful energy of the three artists so enjoyable to see, and the collection of amazing people having so much fun all made me appreciate and reflect upon what we had right in front of us - this magical day that began as a dream and became real. ADID's first Toronto event brought the love on all sides - it was memorable, uplifting and inspired and undoubtedly awakened new dreams to look forward to...