ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Copeland takes on the Phoenix
By Amanda Aitken
This past Friday, Club Phoenix deviated from its usual Top 40/Hip Hop/Eurodance format to welcome DJ Brad Copeland from Montreal for his second consecutive Halloween appearance.
DJs Sugar Ray and Zoltan warmed up an unusual group of angels, vampires and scantily-clad "nurses" for Copeland and his techno-infused progressive house sound.
The Phoenix management and Embrace Productions spared no expense, using d?or that included ghosts hanging from the ceiling, along with skeletons and spider webs, allowing dancers to feel more connected with the DJ spinning than would the traditional Phoenix setup.
When Copeland stepped up to the plate around 12:30 a.m., he segued nicely from the fare played by the Phoenix residents, using a few tracks with crossover appeal. Most notably were the Sander Kleinenberg dub of "Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake, remixes of "Missing" by Everything But the Girl and "Family Affair" by Mary J. Blige. Such tracks soon gave way to Brad's trademark driving, melodic musical style.
Copeland's mixing abilities were watertight; there was never a moment of dissonance or shifted timing, just synths and bass melting from one track to the next, building anticipation for the next peak, over and over again.
An excellent showman, he enjoyed drawing his audience in, revealing his enjoyment for his work involving his Tech 12s and mixer.
Although the crowd thinned gradually from 1 a.m. on, the dance floor remained packed. This may have had something to do with the excellent vantage point of the Phoenix girls in suspended cages, but more likely it was due to Brad's fantastic set.
He kept the energy level up until the very end, treating the mostly-student crowd to a few classic favourites, as well as new beats, keeping the party going until 3:30 a.m..
After the power had been cut, the sight of the bottle-littered Club was similar to the look of any bar when the lights come on, but this had been a night with a difference and Brad Copeland was the reason for it.