Carl Cox crushed the decks at Rebel Nightclub this past Friday. It was the closest thing to a Guvernment flashback that Toronto has ever felt. While nothing will ever replace that sprawling megacomplex, Rebel is busy creating its own heritage of top-tier DJ nights and a rumoured 4,000+ people this past weekend.
The night began with a massive line going halfway down Polson Street, which was a testament to how many people came out. The line moved quickly though, and once inside, fans were met with cavernous darkness and deep, booming techno. Two of Toronto’s well-known resident DJ’s, Carlo Lio and Greg Gow, were doing what they do they do best to get the crowd warmed up and bouncing. The energy was infectious as everyone was buzzing for Cox and the crowd was loving both Lio and Gow. While their music kept the crowd upbeat and dancing hard, they also added several deep twists and turns to keep things on edge.
King of Techno delivers
At 1AM, we saw the unmistakable silhouette of the king of techno step behind the decks. The crowd surged forward to get the best spot they could for his opening track with phone screens lighting up the dance floor. The anticipation was palpable – Cox hasn’t played in Toronto since 2015, and he couldn’t have chosen a better venue to return to. After Toronto fans buzzing from his set at Movement, Detroit, everyone knew they were in for a treat.
With over 70 feet of LED screen behind him, floating light rigs, and lasers everywhere, Rebel managed to dwarf the gigantic DJ with special effects. The music stole the show, of course, with relentless bass and winding tracks that took music lovers down a dark path that only Cox could create.
Despite the packed dancefloor, you could always find a spot to get into the zone and dance. Pushing through the lines to the bar to get to the perfect spot to see Cox do his thing behind the decks made the entire night worth it. Stumbling out into the street after 3am to catch a cab home, everyone was talking about what an incredible set he played.
Hopefully, Carl Cox won’t be a stranger to Toronto or to Rebel. We can’t wait to see him again!