Toxic Summer returned to a new location in Northern California with a banging lineup that brought some serious heat to the stage.
Since its inception, Toxic Summer has become known as one of the best Bay Area raves of the summer. Brought to us by Vital Events, who also run Wobbleland, the event is normally held for two days at the San Jose Civic and features lineups filled to the brim with legends and rising stars alike. After a long wait, Toxic Summer finally returned to the Bay Area on September 17-18 but with one caveat, it would now be hosted at a new, unfamiliar venue – the Capos Event Center in Gilroy. That didn’t stop tickets from moving quickly from their diehard following of bass music lovers, and as the dates approached for the hype continued to build.
The night of the show finally arrived and attendees began arriving at the venue to get their dose of wubs, but unfortunately, it seemed like security had a different idea of what was going on that night. Perhaps it was due to inexperience with hosting the show or some other reason, but what was normally a 15-20 minute wait to get through security ended up being well over an hour for many. There were also inconsistencies throughout the night as well, with the decision that there would be no ins and outs or a smoking section for attendees either.
Aside from the hiccups with security, the rest of Toxic Summer was absolutely fantastic.
Once inside the venue, ravers were welcomed in by a lounge-type area surrounding the main bar, which led up to the small stage that was hosting local crews Riddim Hours and LoFreq Events. The two crews did beautifully on that stage, bringing both the best of the heavy and the weird. This second stage brought us the likes of us some of my favorite upcoming local talents, including names such as Xotix, Guilt Chip, Dalfin, and Louder Space. If supporting local crews and artists is something Vital will be doing more of, I can definitely get behind that.
With the second stage so meticulously curated, it was impossible for the main stage to disappoint.
The main room entrance was centered right between the first bar and the second stage. As we entered the large room, there was another quaint bar to the left, and an upstairs balcony to the right. The rest of the room was just a sea of ravers facing the stage and 3 LED screens, headbanging and dancing the night away.
The stage setup and production absolutely made it all worth it. The production was made up of a triple LED screen, CO2 cannons, and an insane array of laser lights to mystify the crowd, perfect for this lineup. The main stage had a lineup consisting of some of the best in the game right now, including ATLiens to FuntCase and Kai Wachi to Sullivan King, and of course, the wonderful Space Laces who threw down a wicked set.
Of all the performances on the main stage during Toxic Summer, four really stood tall among the rest.
The main stage kicked off with some fresh beats brought to us by Calcium. If you’re not familiar with this rising star in the scene, you’ll definitely want to get familiar before you get demolished in the pits. His set was an absolute stunner and the future is clearly bright for him. Space Laces played on the first day with an insane set that blew everyone away. This bass maestro showed us why he’s our favorite producer’s favorite producer – and with some unreleased gems and flips sprinkled into his set, it’s no wonder we’re always waiting for his next release.
Another one of the standouts at Toxic Summer was the modern scratch master, Zeke Beats. We can always count on him to bring the beats and scratch us into submission and he did so masterfully at the show. Finally, the FuntCase B2B Midnight Tyrannosaurus set to close the first night was just the cherry on top. These two artists brought their most hectic sounds to a night full of heavy bass and headbanging tunes.
Overall, Toxic Summer was exactly what bass music lovers in Northern California needed to get back in the groove.
The Vital crew truly outdid themselves for Toxic Summer’s return. While there were concerns about the new venue, and security was a bit of a letdown, their tradition of bringing some of the best artists in the bass music scene more than made up for it. We can only hope next year’s lineup sees them bring even more diversity and fresh young talent to the stage, see you there!