Scream your heart out (DNA Presents: Scream, event review)

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By Dominic Wren

Ottawa has brought in many world class DJs/Producers for the highly anticipated Halloween weekend. Headlining the DNA Presents Scream event at the EY Center were NGHTMRE, W&W, and Lost Kings. This year was arguably the biggest and meanest line up Ottawa has seen for a single night. Originally, Laidback Luke was supposed to close out the night but unfortunately he wasn’t able to show up to the event due to some complications. Lost Kings were quickly booked to fill in the gap and it undoubtedly wasn’t a step down.

After some talented openers making up of Mac at 9 pm then Khaøs b2b Mers at 9:40pm, NGHTMRE took to the stage opening with some heavy and deadly dubstep. The crowd quickly pushed to the front gates to get a glimpse of the solo DJ. The front gates were wobbling back and forth due to the crazy amount of energy the super fans were producing. Switching back and forth from hard trap to hardstep to hip-hop, this LA based producer made these transitions in the highest of quality and in the smoothest fashion. During the middle of his set, he dropped his latest release “Save Yourself” featuring The Chainsmokers. The moment the crowd heard the intro to this track all the NGHTMRE/Chainsmokers fans started screaming in excitement. This is where the temperature in the room got extra heated. I’m almost sweating through my shirt and the crowd’s costumes were getting more and more destroyed. The artist ended up closing his set to his collab with Slander “Gud Vibrations.”

The crowd just started cooling down from the killer set by NGHTMRE when W&W stormed to the stage opening with a crazy trance vibe. This type of genre is mostly rare to see in the bigger events of the nation’s capital. It was great to see the “WHOOO’s” and “AAAHH’s” of the crowd. W&W quickly transition back their original big room house sound by dropping older singles like “Live the Night” with Hardwell and “Bigfoot” just to name a few. Surprisingly, they didn’t mix in any famous hip-hip or rock songs like most DJs do. They kept straight to an EDM vibe. Over all, it was a great show and they pulled off some great mixes and transitions even non-DJs could appreciate.

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To close out a fantastic Halloween weekend, Lost Kings appeared in front of the crowd to give them one final party before the night was over. I was expecting the crowd to be tired and starting to leave by this time of the night but these EDM fans stayed and raged one last time. It was great to see. They gave one final push and it felt like this was the first show of the night. Lost Kings opened with SAYMYNAME’s new single “Turn Up Da Bass” and played back to back hard tracks for about 15 minutes before slowing the beat down to play their hit single “Phone Down” featuring Emily Warren. Their set was comparative to The Chainsmokers set at Ile Soniq or Ultra Music Festival in Miami. The crowd was sticking with them and that shows a lot of talent from these two DJ/Producers to keep such an exhausted crowd raging. From connecting to the crowd with cell phone lights in the sky during the emotional parts of the set to making them sit down before a hard drop, this set was definitely a highlight of the night. They really made up for Ottawa to miss out on a talent like LaidBack Luke.

The Halloween weekend in Ottawa is one destination to look out for when in the coming years as it’s only getting better. Hope to see more and more fans come out to these events soon!


Bringing house music back to Ottawa (Brohug event review - Halloween Au Palais)

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By Dominic Wren

Recently, Dubstep has been dominating the Ottawa/Gatineau with an overwhelming majority of ravers here preferring that genre. Although these hardstep/hardtrap shows can can be one of the most entertaining, sometimes a bit of diversity can bring a fresh look to the EDM scene. This past weekend was filled with EDM events across the region but one that stood out on the Friday was Halloween au Palais, organized by Les Fondateurs, at the convention center in Gatineau which brought house artists Hook n Sling and Brohug.

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The Swedish band of brothers took to the stage Friday night after an empowering set from L.A based Hook n Sling. At the start of their set, the crowd seemed somewhat into it. Looking for some headbanging madness, it wasn’t the right place for it but Brohug quickly noticed this so they switched by mixing in Lil Pump hit single “Boss.” The crowd suddenly started to liven up and the massive room got hotter and hotter by the minute. From there they smartly transitioned between basshouse (sticking to their house roots) and hip-hop. Even though the event was 95% sold out, the venue felt intimate as there was a connection between the DJs and the audience. The DJ trio released a track recently with world famous Tchami “My Place” featuring Reece that had got quite a bit of attention at its release. To my surprise, believing the track wouldn’t be that popular in this region, the crowd seemed to know every lyric to the song. It was pretty amazing to see.

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After the show, I managed to ask a couple of questions to the three sweaty DJs. I first asked what brought the three guys together where they responded casually by saying the two of them were brothers and the 3rd was a friend of theirs so stuck together and have now become one of the biggest names in House music. They have recently launched their first record label “Brohouse.” They mentioned the goal for this label is to promote up and coming artists that have good music and raw talent. What should the EDM community expect next from these guys? Well they have SO MUCH fresh music coming out in the next coupe of months and a lot of touring around the world so they might be in a city near you!