The Electric Generation

Davide Crombie


Bright LED lights flickered on the front of the bus, the neon poles inside were
glowing yellow, city lights dotted the night outside the window. The
unrelenting, pounding beat of techno music was pulsing in my brain through the
earphones of my iPod. The sun had just set and the young electric generation
was heading into the night. I got off the bus, rhythms still going in my ears,
and went into the subway to meet up with a friend. We talked loudly about which
songs we were excited to hear over the automated, robotic voice coming through
the speaker above us. A quick stop to pick up some other friends of ours and
then back to the subway we went. We exited the underground, and Toronto’s famous CN Tower came into view; colourful lights shooting up and down its length. All the
lights in the downtown core charged the atmosphere as crowds funnelled towards
the Rogers Centre.

I had waited months for this concert, bought many CDs,
downloaded tracks and uploaded all the melodies into my head. The ultra-famous
mouse-god of techno music, Deadmau5, was coming back to his home town for the
final show in his tour. Deadmau5 had taken a shot at becoming an artist in one
of the most shaky, criticized streams of music, and he made it. He made it big.
20,000 screaming, jumping, fist-pumping fans had come out to see him perform,
and I was one of them.

The crowd thickened as we filed into the cavernous dome
along with thousands of other neon-wearing techno fans. The strobe lights were
already flashing and the opening artists were busy warming up the growing
crowd. Glow stick mouse ears, handed out at the entrance, were dotting the dark
floor while coloured lights were sparkling on the roof above. We met up with some
girls I knew, and then descended the bleachers into the dark sea below. Once on
the floor, I began to bounce with the music. I had never danced in my life but
there was something about the music and the people that took control of my body
and forced me to move along to its bass line. The opening artists were all big
name musicians, who could have headlined a show of their own, but this concert
was a whole new magnitude of grandeur. They played for three or four hours,
each artist topping the next, rhythms gradually becoming more complex, and
melodies more captivating. Some of us retreated to the stands to take a break
from the dancing. The view was spectacular: thousands of people all bouncing
with the same beat, glow sticks and camera lights punctuating the darkness, and
beams of light slashing the space above. From that vantage point it was
impossible to pick out individuals; everyone made up a constantly growing,
moving mass in the centre of the floor. Our break from the dancing was cut
short as the music stopped and the lights turned off. The audience went silent
as we bounded down the steps to the vast floor. Moving back into the crowd, I
realized that it was the music that brought all of these people together, the
music that made everyone rush from their seats as a new song began.

Every generation has grown up with a certain style of
music. Songs which were rejected by the older generation at the time are now
considered classics. Since the turn of the 20th century, every
decade of youth have had their styles, their way of life, their culture, and
their own music to go along with their revolutionary ways. Our generation, the
electric-generation, has brought a brand new style of music: Electronica. It
may be repetitive, but it creates energy. People start to dance when they hear
a familiar beat, and that night, people were enjoying every timeless second of
every repeated note.

We found our group of friends just as the bass line to
Deadmau5’s first song began. The noise from the crowd almost drowned out the
first notes of the melody when his famous cubic, spaceship style stage lit up.
Every light in the dome went on and everyone in the crowd jumped when the song
peaked. Meanwhile, Deamau5 casually bobbed his mouse head in the centre of the
stage, the audience hypnotized by his glowing eyes and almost eerie presence.
Every song brought with it an electric mist, every synthesized note fell like a
raindrop, and every beat caused a tremor in the floor. Techno music has a way
of slowing down time, creating a trance like state. When combined with a group
of people who all think the same, it can make you lose sense of individuality,
It can make you feel connected to everyone in the room, and it can give
everyone a sense of identity as one united group. That night I became part of
the energized, pulsating crowd, and I owe it all to techno music. I hope that
in the future I will be able to show my favourite songs from today to my
children, and tell them “kids, this is a classic.”