Who’s Zed? Zeds Dead, baby


(Photo by Nick Lachance)

Last Thursday night, Toronto-based electronic duo Zeds Dead returned to Uptown Waterloo’s Beta Night Club with a vengeance.

After seeing them play a somewhat lackluster show at the same venue last April, I was a bit apprehensive going into the performance. However, on Thursday night they were back with their usual magic.

The crowd was the perfect size; full without being overcrowded. People seemed to be at the club to enjoy music, the usual bump-and-grind was left behind as the audience danced as a cohesive collective.

Energetic, yet seemingly humble, Zeds Dead interacted with the audience throughout their entire hour-and-half set. Playing fan favourites such as “Rudeboy” and “Out for Blood” near the beginning of their set, they had the crowd hooked from the very first drop.

Keeping the audience engaged throughout the entirety of their set, Zeds Dead continually played pieces that had the crowd singing along with enthusiasm.

Stand-out numbers included a remix of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” the psychedelic tones providing a welcome contrast to their more bass-heavy tracks.

Keeping it old school, they also threw on The Mamas and Papas’ “California Dreaming” and as the smooth melody dissolved into a grimy dubstep remix, the crowd went wild.

Just minutes before leaving the stage they played Skrillex and Damien Marley’s “Make it Bun ‘dem,” quickly followed by two of their own early hits: “Coffee Break” and a remix of Blue Foundation’s “Eyes on Fire.” The climax of the set, the audience was literally begging for more as they announced the conclusion of the show.

Returning for a short encore, the crowd remained entranced in the music until the very last note.

At 2:30 a.m., the lights came on bringing everyone back to reality. As the audience was shepherded out of the club, it was surprising to see that the majority of the crowd stayed until the end — a true testament to Zeds Dead’s excellent showmanship.

With their unique, incomparable sound, Zeds Dead have put Toronto on the map as veritable EDM capital, and on Thursday night they showed Waterloo why they remain part of dance music’s elite.

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