Electric Island: Civic Day Edition Review
Previously on Electric Island, I complained about not having the opportunity to photo-document the festivities as they unfolded. This time around, I took all the necessary precautions in order to avoid making the same mistakes. As a big fan of Electric Island, I’ve never fully enjoyed the event from beginning to end because I tend to arrive about halfway through. For this session, I though I’d do things differently by arriving early and exploring everything the island had to offer. Yep, the plan was to get there at 1pm sharp, just in time to see the early deejays do their thang. That obviously didn’t happen. I was only 30 minutes late but for the people who are accustomed to inviting me to places, this is quite the improvement. I wandered through the island, scoping out the different food trucks available, observing the layout and memorizing where all the ping-pong tables, water fountains and porta potties were located. I was certain this information would be invaluable at a later time. While this life strategizing was happening, a very enthusiastic deejay was already on the stage, wowing the masses. Sure people were just trickling in, but Mike Gibbs appeared as if he had been playing his set for thousands of fans; fans who had waited hours upon hours for the chance opportunity to see him. He rewarded his fans for their punctuality and played a phenomenal opening set. Setting the tone for the day’s festivities, he played hit after hit and showed no signs of waning despite playing for would obviously be considered, the day’s smallest audience. Although one of the reasons behind my premature arrival was to familiarize myself with all of the island’s offerings, Mike Gibbs’s music was much too lively to be wasted on something as basic as walking aimlessly, so I did what destiny had meant for me to do, started foot stomping. I remember being far back for Mike Gibbs’s set, right by the ping pong tables, but by the time I blinked, I found myself partying, head banging and fist pumping with the herd of electric islanders; my new long weekend community. (Note: The term ‘Electric Islanders’ is meant to represent a group of people with a long-standing passion for everything Electric Island related but ESPECIALLY, free form enjoyment of the music.)
The Junkies – What can I say about this powerhouse duo? Aside from ALWAYS putting on a good show, they also remind me of my younger days. Back to when I first fell in love with the music, the reasons I fell in love with the environment, the entire scene, dare I say. Flashbacks of the good times invaded my senses as the sounds from the Guv blared onstage that afternoon. And you can tell which Electric Islanders have partied to the familiar beats of The Junkies before. They shared the same goofy looks on their faces as I did; a look brought on by blissful nostalgia.
Robert Babicz (and his scarf) - Despite the 30 degree weather, this cold cat still needed a scarf, that's how cool he is. His stylistic needs as an artist far exceeded his desire for casual comfort. This special attention to detail is what makes him a great deejay. He always adds a signature sound to his mixes as a way to personalize his sets. Much like himself, his music wears a scarf too. The only difference is that you have to see it with your ears. *wavy arms
Art Department - One of my favourite moments of the day was definitely when AD let ‘the bass drop.’ As I was photographing this lovely gentleman and that’s literally what he did; he let the bass drop. This was no regular bass. This was a type of bass that pulsated throughout your entire body. All the photographers in the pit felt it. It bellowed through our souls and made us pause for a moment to appreciate his craft for all its value. What was even more spectacular was suave composure during his set. When he had a craving, he smoked his cigarette. Just held it in his mouth while he was spinning. When he got thirsty, he reached for his Jack Daniels. All I remember thinking to myself, after he had lit his cigarette, pulled out the bottle, cracked it open and took a swig was “Yep, Art Department is a total badass.”
Green Velvet- I’ve discovered that his magical green hair is the ultimate source of his power. As Green Velvet head banged his coiffed mohawk, it became more and more disheveled BUT the messier his hair got, the more intense his beats became. The crowd went chaotic for his music but he controlled his composure, maintained a tranquil state but unleashed the beast within whenever he felt the time was right. He had the entire island jumping in sync to his rhythms, a feat difficult to achieve especially when trying ot the control motor skills of a mostly inebriated crowd. Song after song was a hit and there was not a quiet moment during his set.