FVDED, the annual hip hop and dance music festival, presented an interesting crowd, from kids who looked about eight years old to the sixty-six year old woman I met on the SkyTrain who was following her favourite DJ downtown to see another show. Just about anyone you could think of wearing anything — or nothing — was there.
FVDED presented an equally interesting lineup: eccentric rappers like Danny Brown came together with more mellow and chill house and techno producers like Claude Vonstroke. The two stages worked very well in terms of not necessarily dividing the audience, but in keeping a solid separation between the mainstream and the alternative.
Tommy Kruise, a French-Canadian man with luscious hair, played incredibly well on stage. Considering he was given the first set at the main stage, it’s not surprising people were still milling around and determining their place at FVDED during his set. Sadly, he seemed to be the only one excited about it. Nobody seemed to get into his smooth sounds, which is a shame to say the least.
Next on stage was Danny Brown, the man who questioned Surrey’s faded-ness: he said, “So this event is called FVDED in the Park, but how many of y’all are actually faded in this motherfuckin’ park?” The crowd was pumped for him. This guy is a true rapper’s delight. Even if hip-hop isn’t your cup of tea, he was a truly engaging performer, despite his often hard-to-make-out lyrics.
DJ Chuckie killed it. The growing audience just loved Chuckie’s mix of house and top 40. The people at Holland Park were barely touching the ground! This vibe definitely continued with Flosstradamus. Both of their white outfits and trippy backgrounds did it for the mostly naked adolescents that filled more than 90 per cent of the field.
At this point, Tyler, The Creator and Deadmau5, probably the two biggest acts for the two-day music festival, were the only ones left for the main stage. Tyler, a twenty-four year old lanky rapper from California, was awesome. Anyone who claims their “boxers are too big” for the stage must be wicked. His rapping and charisma charmed the crowd.
All these great acts paved a hard path to follow for Deadmau5, the evening’s headliner. They always say to save dessert for last, though, in FVDED, the first six hours were sweeter than the final act. Deadmau5 was nothing more than brussels sprouts. Raw — not even served with cheese sauce. Also, did he just have his heart broken? He sounded sad.
The tunes he played were sad, mellow, and chill; everything you don’t expect a rave to be. Every so often, he would perform a decent drop that got the crowd back into caring about his mouse mask.
Overall, Deadmau5 was weak, but everyone must have been so hopped up on drugs and booze that it was probably decent in their ears. This is only a maybe, since the bulk of partygoers ended up leaving midway during his set. The only lively thing about this dead animal was the light show; otherwise, it was a pure disappointment.
Aside from Deadmau5’s slip-up, the evening was ace. In my eyes, Chuckie was the star. He not only appealed to the largest number of people, including both the eight-year-olds accompanied by their mothers and fathers and the grandparents closing their eyes for bedtime at 7:30 pm, but every beat drop was unreal. Chuckie is not child’s play — he’s the real deal, and he most definitely stole the show.
FVDED didn’t just live up to my expectations; it surpassed them. It was an inclusive event which encompassed an interesting crowd, making the experience all the more fun.