Disclaimer: as per the request in a tweet (below), as well as in her Cult of Rezz Facebook group, spoilers are prevalent in this post, especially if you plan on seeing Rezz at a later stop in her tour. Reader’s discretion is advised.
If you’re a fan & are coming to a stop on my M.M tour, try to avoid watching videos others post because I want u to be surprised by it💓🌹🌀_🌀
— RΞZZ (@OfficialRezz) September 29, 2017
22-year-old Isabelle Rezazadeh, best known to the world as Rezz, is one of the biggest artists in the electronic scene, and has been making some serious waves over the past while. Every now and again, she likes to stop by and catch a show or two in Toronto, where she’s currently based – and the next day, you can bet that the local community talks about her (known) presence. It’s an even bigger spectacle when she has a show lined up, since she always finds a way to have fun with the hometown crowd, especially with her recent sold-out show at The Danforth Music Hall.
The night started off with knodis, one of the collaborators for her recent album, which the tour is based off of. The general vibe was most suited to Rezz – a dark, industrial-esque techno vibe, best described as “Electric Island gone dark”. The venue was already packed halfway to the back, with a large portion of the crowd sporting some kind of Rezz shirt/apparel. There were also “space people” whose faces were bespeckled with jewellery, and females dressed in black tutus & fluffies, appropriately named “Rezz Girls”, scattered throughout. Overall, the crowd was predominantly dark in attire, to match.
No Mana took over on the decks after, surrounded by visuals of his insignia – a satisifed 8-bit smile with its tongue sticking out. Given his name, the face seemed like a playful mockery towards the worst thing to occur in a video game (aside from death). His set was a heavy, high-energy warm-up, which had the concrete floor of the hall rumbling, especially towards the end when he layed down Huoratron‘s ‘Cryptocracy’.
After a grateful bow from No Mana and a quick intermission, there was an all-too-familiar voice – that of the hypnotist/psychologist from her opening track ‘Relax‘, and Rezz herself appeared before us during the psychologist’s ominous countdown. She sported a detailed Rick & Morty shirt gifted to her by a fan, which she later admitted to changing into right before her set began.
Skipping ahead 10 minutes into her set, she dropped ‘DRUGS!‘, one of her most talked-about songs of the summer. My body wasn’t ready for such a sudden appearance, yet I still shrieked in absolute awe with my friend as we instantly recognized its wonky synths. During the drop, the song and I felt like we were one, as I let loose with frisson-induced goosebumps (and copious amounts of sweat) all over my posessed body. (Mind you, I was completely sober as this was occurring.)
The visuals throughout the show were either very cryptic, or hypnotizing – if there wasn’t some variation of hypnotic spirals going around the giant screen behind her, then there were instances of her famous klingon-inspired hand gesture with the centric eye protruding from it and looking about, as well as hands attempting to push out of the LED screen, both causing the illusion of 3D projection. Meanwhile on stage, she stood as a small figure who swayed, wobbled and waved to the music, like a master of flow.
Regarding crowd interaction, she would do something as simple as clap her hands to any beat, and instead of “that one guy” keeping the beat alive, we ALL put our hands up and joined her in mesmerized rhythmic unison. We’re almost halfway into her set, getting lost in her familiar sounds/tunes, when she picks up the mic and gleefully announces, “Toronto, I sold this place out today!”
We all cheered in utter jubilation, yet didn’t expect the lengthy segment of filthy bass and space music that she unleashed right after. As happy as the die-hard fans were to hear her play song after song that she had produced, the headbangers really came alive during her own track ‘Synesthesia‘, Just a Tune‘s flip of ‘Killing in the Name Of‘, as well as a surprise drop-in of Liquid Stranger & Space Jesus‘ ‘Space Boss’ – all this before turning down the madness via her collab with Laura Brehm, ‘Melancholy‘.
After going all in during the headbanging session, we were all still talking about how surprisingly early she dropped ‘DRUGS!’. As we did so, another fan favourite, ‘Purple Gusher‘, came on to re-capture our attention. Accompanied with fully purple visuals, everybody’s weird side let loose, including my friend who showed me he can bend backwards at an almost-90° angle. Not too soon after, she played its green counterpart, which followed ‘Diluted Brains‘, as the last two tracks off her album that she had left to drop on us.
Her set ended approx. 10 minutes early, but not before closing out with the same hypnotist/psychologist bidding us a cryptic farewell. There was no encore or “one more song” to follow, but we were more than satisfied that the Queen of Darkness (a.k.a. Space Mom) had infiltrated our souls for a full hour and a half. My buddies and I got an Uber back to my place afterwards, and I was low-key welling up with tears, as I tried to comprehend the unreal set I just witnessed and bacame lost in.
If you’ve yet to catch a Rezz show (and start your own personal counter), I highly recommend – no, I IMPLORE you to do so, especially if you’re a fan of her style. This was my first, most defiitely not my last, and I can’t wait to see where else I catch her and how many times I do so.