Toronto’s latest dance music destination, Nest, held its grand opening celebration this past long weekend. The three-day event welcomed international DJ Black Coffee on May 15th, and Fehrplay on May 16th. We checked out the finale of the events, which saw dance legend Danny Tenaglia play for a 16-hour marathon set.
A reincarnation of the former RYZE Nightclub, the now two-storey club is the project of Vito Tomasicchio and Phillip Anthony Pulitano in conjunction with RYZE’s team. For those who are unaware, Tomasicchio and Pulitano are two of the founders of The BPM Festival and have been working in the music industry for decades.
The club is still undergoing some renovations, but was polished enough for the opening weekend. Adorned with a giant Nest sign on the streets of Little Italy, it’s hard to miss. In comparison to its predecessor, Nest’s features double the dance space on the top floor alone. Two bars line the perimeter, decorated with exposed cord hanging lightbulbs – providing a grungy and underground vibe. A giant disco ball overlooks the dance floor, but a centrepiece of other sorts takes the spotlight.
The main stage is surrounded by woven wooden pieces in the shape of a nest. The DJ booth is situated within its confines, and a phoenix-like structure overlooks. Illuminated by dancing LEDs, this bird appears to be rising from the nest: a play on the club’s former and current names perhaps? Pounding bass and echoing beats took over the two floors, and the music was loud and clear wherever you were.
Upon arriving to the venue at 11PM, it appeared as if there was some imaginary line keeping the growing crowd within the rear half of the dance floor. Regardless of the noticeable divide, club-goers were grooving and enjoying the spacious renovation. However, as midnight passed, the dancing space became a tale of the past – as did the air. Things heated up quickly inside Nest, and stepping inside the main room brought a wall of thick air. While a couple of large fans were situated towards the back, they had little to no impact as you ventured further into the crowd.
Many stumbled upon the newly-added downstairs bar area by accident, in search of the smoking area. While this floor appeared to still be incomplete, it provided the perfect area for a breath of fresh air. Talented shufflers decorated the dance floor to the techno sounds of local DJs like Nicholas Nice and Ricky Syfer.
Saturday night’s opener, Daniel Dubb, warmed the crowd up with a 6-hour underground house set filled with progressive bliss. Most headliners come on around 1AM – but as many knew or soon discovered, Danny Tenaglia is no regular DJ. The New York native played from 4AM Saturday to 7:30PM on Sunday. Club-goers were given wristbands and allowed to come and go as they pleased; for food, rest and daylight breaks. Danny on the other hand, powered through the 16 hours and did it all with a smile, even joining the dance floor for some moments. Setting a Toronto record, Tenaglia kicked off Nest’s grand opening with what can only be described as superhuman stamina, and the musical arsenal to back it up.
We’re excited to see what else Nest will bring in the coming months, as they complete their renovations and host a plethora of top talent. Techno Friday nights will be dedicated to booking internationally-renowned DJ acts, and Saturdays will host local house talent. An adjoining restaurant will serve a menu of tapas and small plates; perfect for those marathon sets, or for a late night power-up.
All in all, this marks the beginning of what looks to be a promising run for Nest, who aim to provide Toronto with a state-of-the-art space with a sound to match. If the success of The BPM Festival is any indicator of what’s to come – expect a quality roster of DJs, a hot (but hopefully better ventilated) space, and great, underground vibes.