There was an energy of excitement in the air at 560 tonight. It was the first weekend night of the Thre3style competition and the last night of the qualifying rounds. The club was packed.
Faction Sound Crew started things out on a more mellow note with Bob Marley’s Could You Be Loved. The mellowness didn’t last too long though, the energy level was quickly brought up when Faction dropped a version of the New York City hip hop anthem Shook Ones Pt II with a Vancouver-centric a capella (“Official Vancouver Murderers” was the line that garnered applause.) It kicked off an amazing set that included hip hop classics, contemporary dancehall hits, and newer club jams.
The first compitetor, DJ Spell from New Zeland, was tasked with introducing a club full of weekend party-goers to the concept of the DJ competition. To his credit, he did so without issue. After wowing the crowd by going from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put a Spell on You’ (Get it?) into Daft Punk’s Robot Rock, Spell broke into an inspired mash up of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ with Run DMC’s ‘Its Like That.’ Crowds and Judges alike were jaws agape. They were again completely floored when Spell finished the night by mixing the tempo down into a dub-step remix of John Williams’ Imperial March and trounced onto the front of the stage wielding a lightsaber while a Scarface sample of Tony Montana screaming “Don’t F*&^k with me!!” played overtop. The bar for the evening had been set high.
Chilean competitor DJ Byte was up next. His set started out safe with universal favorites like The Jackson Five and Curtis Mayfield, but quickly evolved into something much more daring as he went into a flawless blend of Tag Team to the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘Head’s Will Roll.’ Then, in a seeming homage to A Clockwork Orange, Byte played the William Tell Overture to a bedazzled crowd, and followed it up by effortlessly blending the 60’s mega-hit Surfin Bird into Rockafella Skank by Fatboy Slim.
The bar had been set high by the time Peru’s DJ Thomas took to the decks. He proved to be a fierce competitor, drawing more heavily on contemporary dance music than any of the nights DJs had so far. Thomas played the nights only Moombahton track with a remix of Riverside, and wooed the crowd with a dubstep remix of Oasis’ Wonderwall.
Next up was the USA’s own Big Once. Big Once played a frenetic set, mixing between club, rock and hip hop hits at incredible speed. He moved from big room anthems like ‘Levels’ by Aviici, to indie floor-bangers like “U Don’t Like Me” by Diplo and Lil Jon. He hit a high point with the crowd with an inspired mash-up of ‘Flat Beat’ with ‘How Low can you Go.”
Parisian Supa was the last competitor of the night. Supa won the hearts of the crowd when he finished his set by playing the Thomas Bangalter edit of Signatune. It was a classy move that showed reverence to recently deceased French DJ Producer Pioneer Mehdi, and also the tracks value as a totally insane exercise in pumping up crowds. Supa’s set also included ‘Song 2’ by Blur and Purple Haze which showed his breadth as a DJ. It was clear, none the less, that his heart lie with the booming bass of songs like Major Lazer’s Orginal Don, which he played early in his set to the delight of the crowd.
DJ Premiere and DJ Pete Rock faced off against each other for no reason other than the amusement of the crowd after the competitors finished. The crowd was enthralled as the judges deliberated on the winner.
When it was announced that France’s Supa had won, the crowd erupted into cheers. Supa played with heart and had a lot of support from fans that travelled a long way to see him compete. He’ll need that support, and that passion in Saturday’s when he faces off against the best DJs in the world.
DJ Premiere closed out the night. He had a tough act to follow given the nights excitement but Premiere still managed to destroy the dance floor and ended everyone’s night on a high note.