It’s the holidays, students are finishing their exams and the biggest show of the season is here. In July, Hernan gave us the low-down on what’s to come. After feeling tested with his recent set, we all waited patiently. To see the lineup for December and read — “Hernan Cattaneo back-to-back with Guy J all night long” was a dream come true. With both artists updating their social media with status’ on how excited they are only made it better. Tickets were virtually sold out everywhere. The lineup at the doors were kept to a minimum, the process couldn’t go any smoother. Like many, we had anticipated a full house with a booking like this. Even though Stereo was to capacity the entire night, there was a comfortable amount of space to maneuver and dance. Although navigating to the bathrooms or smoking exit would have been a mild nightmare, it’s something everyone has gotten used to. Especially if you’ve been around on nights equivalent to this one. It sounds like a gripe but I personally didn’t mind. Many of us don’t. We understand there’s only so much space and that ticket sales cover the booking costs for these performances. Those that attend stereo often enough understand just that.


You can feel the static in the air once you were inside. Dim lighting with red and orange hues set the mood perfectly, keeping everyone in a calm state of mind. In the very beginning, the bass wasn’t as pronounced like it normally is. It was all about the melodies and steady beat that fed our hunger to dance. The unique combination of Guy J’s spaced-out progressive sounds opened the night with a comfortable tempo. Hernan kept us on our toes by intervening with the beat changes. Once everyone was warmed up, the room grew darker, letting the disco ball rest and the sequenced coloured spotlights take over. With tremendous buildups and their well curated set list, every track was one bomb after another. The tracks would have their distinct sound, each belonging to their artists respective style. Guy J’s tracks lead us to outer space, with lighting kept to a minimum except during buildups. The disco ball would take on multiple colours, like watching a star go super nova. The explosion of the bass would simulate exactly that. After the chaos had subsided, Hernan would bring the room back to life with tracks off his set list. His music lit up the room with sharp crisp sounds. This changed the lighting scheme to have a unique flow. That familiar pattern reflecting the colours of summer. Turquoise, blue, purple every vibrant colour you can imagine was lighting up the room. With the whole room witnessing the same magical moments brought us all closer together. Everyone was on the same page at this point. As we move forward into the night the songs lost their signature sound by slowly evolving and melding together. This gave us the unique sound of progressive house that only these two can deliver. You were able to feel spaced out and disconnected with reality, or in tune with your surroundings and closer to those with you. It was a special experience that fed everyone’s desires and expectations. All of this was made possible not just because of the music, but because of the genius behind the visuals and lighting system. Roger Gosselin, the artist that paints our world with light and shrouds us in darkness. With his efforts, virtually every lighting sequence you’ve witnessed has been his doing. From the electric sky of lasers to the pulsating beams of lights that rain down onto the sacred floor. Roger delivers a euphoric experience every time. This made it only more difficult to leave when it was time. The crowd did not die down the whole night, not even for a minute. Stereo’s dance floor was full up until we were kicked out by the very professional hard working security team. It was clear that no one wanted the night to end, and for that exact reason — stereo bar opened for their After 8. A great friend and solid resident dj, Johnny Messina, spun for hours. Picking up where the legendary duo left off. Johnny found the tracks that gave us the energy we needed to keep dancing. Pacing ourselves for 10 hours? That’s what Hernan & Guy J did without us even knowing. Messina knows the secrets to progressive house, we all watched him tempo out the crowd to tracks that were driven by heavy bass. It was as if he knew all along we would have this new found energy that pushed us to dance longer and harder than we had anticipated. He’s kept in touch with Hernan over the years, and with his guidance and advice, Johnny carved himself a beautiful sound. A well curated set and an amazing unforeseen sending to an epic night. Alas, I was unable to stay to the very end of his set but I can tell you this; his sets are on par with Hernan and Guy J. Let that sink in.

by Rye Guy