Concert Review + Photos: Chet Faker @ The Hoxton

Chet Faker
Welcome to Canada, Chet Faker, and welcome to Toronto’s ridiculous club by-laws. Victoria Day saw the Hoxton open unusually early, and entering a club at any time means subjecting oneself to staunch security, humourless bouncers who angrily pat you down, stressed out bartenders, and an overprotective entourage, but hey, that’s their job, right? And he earned it, right?

The answer is most emphatically yes. Chet Faker manages to create layered electronic music that seems impossible to attain singularly; without the help of a band. As a DJ working the Toronto club scene, there is limited space available for someone of the caliber of Chet Faker, which either means he will have to continue playing the smaller venues and sold out shows, or once he gets big enough he will no longer be able to play suitable venues in the city at all.

Toronto’s entertainment/nightlife scene has witnessed enough by-laws to bring us back to Prohibition; by-laws prohibiting dancing after certain hours, heavy noise restrictions, and the almost all out banning of electronic dance music, a sub-genre that essentially covers anything clubby, including but not limited to DJs and electronic musicians such as Chet Faker. The club scene in Toronto has received quite a bad reputation, for so-called bad behaviour and disorderly conduct, an issue exacerbated by that clash between Rob Ford and Justin Beiber at Musik nightclub on the CNE grounds, which was not the catalyst for these by-law changes, but definitely did not help matters.

Essentially, the Toronto club scene is changing drastically. Places like the Hoxton, and Guvernment are among the only true night clubs left in the city, and we are already seeing the movement of clubs outside of the typical entertainment district and into the outer parts of the city. This is due, in part, to the overdevelopment of condominiums in the downtown core; buildings which steal up existing club spaces, and therefore create great rifts between clubs. Club culture essentially focuses on the strength of many clubs together (solidarity!), by which I mean that club-goers do not typically remain at a single club all night. Now, when the locations of such places as the Sound Academy, the Guvernment, and the Hoxton are in parts of the city where they are destinations where one would have to spend all or most of the night, these venues are losing attendants. Coupled with by-laws that make licensing almost impossible, it’s a bit frightening to think that these venues could all be shut down in the next year.

Chet Faker brings all the things that the Toronto club scene is beginning to lack, that is: dance music that is sure to encourage illicit behaviour (Drugs! Sex!). Let’s just say it was no surprise that the bathroom attendant was handing out condoms.

For an interview with Chet Faker, click here.

Review by Emily Fox () | Photos by Katrina Thorn ()

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