The MuchMusic Video Awards after-party circuit can inspire epic levels of FOMO among Torontonians. Allow us then to show you what you didn’t miss.
I owe my friend Navi a public apology for dragging her to last night’s post-MMVA meltdowns. (You owe her the requisite applause.) Yup, when my editor suggested I attempt to experience something known as “the craziest party weekend of the year,” I didn’t realize he meant to put me through 50 shades of cray. Whatever. If you ever doubt how un-cool or un-fun it is to live in Toronto, this weekend would have either proved you right or put you in the hospital with FOMO. If I can save just one person from caring about missing something, I have done my duty. There’s this massive build-up to MMVA Sunday and the subsequent party overdose it induces when it’s all over. It’s kinda like the way you can’t talk to someone online for too long before you meet them, because your expectations are too high and the orgasm is only half as good as it was in your head.
Sure, there was so much to do this weekend, and the week prior, that it left you more stimulated than a 21st-century toddler who will grow up to develop ADHD. On Saturday, The Spoke Club transformed into the second annual Rockstar Hotel, which attracted people like Jian Ghomeshi, Goldfinger, and Nixon, the littlest band that could (and should) be somewhere else right now. And where this happened to me in the elevator. Oh yeah, and lots of Durex condoms. Also on Saturday: the al fresco closing party for Luminato at swanky South of Temperance on Adelaide, where I could have stayed my whole life. For a splashy festival I completely ignored this year, I didn’t once have to chew corporate dick. As it turns out, our parents know how to party. (And, like, the DJ even played me some Azealia.) And then there was last night, which was neither awful nor splendid, and will teach you a little something about what it really means to #AfterPartyRock on MMVA weekend.
Sunday, June 17, 10:47 p.m.: For once, I’m early—and I’m faithful enough to believe in omens. The e-mail instructed me to arrive at the corner of Queen West and Duncan, where we would board what I’m calling the “Party Rocking Bus” to take us to Universal Music’s official after-party at Maison Mercer. Walking up Duncan, we pass a MuchMusic backstage alley, cornered off and carefully decorated with dumpsters of garbage. It smells so elegant and futuristic, wholly reminiscent of the MMVA theme.
11:10 p.m.: We board the double-decker bus, which is actually owned by Virgin Mobile. We’re the first ones here, and it’s like being the first at a house party. It’s also like a reality-TV show where you’re waiting for the next houseguest to arrive. Look, it’s digital darling Lauren O’Nizzle! We discuss the proliferation of hipsterdom in the fashions of NBA players. We’re traveling with contest winners, flown in from Newfoundland for a VIP weekend. They seem so excited, and I get so excited for them. You guys! I want to drink the Kool Aid. I’m ready.
11:23 p.m.: There are two police cruisers bookending the big Virgin bus. We’re escorted into the “black car lineup” on Richmond, where we’re supposed to be picking up people who are important to people who feel the MMVAs are important, like LMFAO. OMG, there are actually people climbing a fence to get a glimpse of who is getting into which limo. I don’t recognize a soul except for that clown-in-the-box from Marianas Trench who I mistake for Adam Lambert. (It annoys me to no end how he can’t lip-synch properly and overacts in that video of theirs.)
11:30 p.m.: As we’re talking about this current scam where little-known hockey players bring their poser meathead friends from Liberty Village to parties and gifting lounges, there’s an eruption of screams and people flooding the top of the bus. Oh god, we’re being swarmed: death by flip-flops and point-and-shoot cameras. Wait, it’s only DJ Tay James, Justin Bieber’s touring music-man, inducing those screams from across the fences. Wave, wave, snap pictures. He’s alright. “Bieber wasn’t even supposed to come out last night,” he says of the surprise sighting of the boy and Selena Gomez at This Is London on Saturday. “Yeah,” I laugh. “But isn’t he, like, only 18 though?” No one thinks it’s funny.
Then a nu-biker crew rolls through with matching jackets that read “Dirty Bass” on the back. They’re all wearing gold chains and medallions strung about (giving “statement necklaces” a whole new meaning for me), and one’s carrying a giant gold-plated boom box. They’re vibing, they’re waving, they’re yelling at people off the side, they’re taking the time to introduce and talk to all dozen or so of us on the bus. “And you are?” says Navi. “We’re Far East Movement.” Oops. But they’re DJing tonight, and I don’t hate them as people.
11:36 p.m.: Universal Party. Finally. So fucking confused for a minute because, well, there’s not a single Universal logo in sight. But there’s no shortage of Virgin paraphernalia, with its own members-only section. Look, get your hair did at a Got2B hair styling station. Or bask in the company of I’m-hotter-than-you-are bartenders in GUESS crop tops. There’s Keshia Chante. And fashion designer Amanda Lew Kee with her new best gurlfriend Jay Strut. And Snake from Degrassi, y’all. There’s no LMFAO yet, though there be plenty of Grey Goose bottle service for executives in t-shirt/vest combos. Am I still ready for funz? SMH.
But as soon as you see those green digits flicker on the cash register, your heart drops for a second when you take a look around. You try to remember so hard what “invite-only” means, because, after all, this is what you’ve been lured here for. On a Sunday night. With a Monday-morning deadline. When you’d rather just be writing about a place or thing you’d actually have fun doing on your own dime. (Like, say, how Mansion’s Saturday night Vogue party with Zebra Katz, for example, or this band playing a show at College and Bathurst.)
12:05 a.m.: Commiserating with a carton of candy on Maison Mercer’s rooftop, where I hear about Nelly Furtado’s afterparty at Kitch Bar way north of here. She’s expected there any minute now. There’s this one boy, sitting alone in the corner, in a plaid shirt buttoned up to high heaven and neat khakis. So cute and sad. Let’s hug. There is a Bear Flag booth, which advertises the wine through of a video of its label being illustrated. There are full bottles on display. (Must. Not. Steal.)
12:10 a.m.: Back outside by red carpet. Too early to leave? “Is that the girl who sang the Marine Land theme song?” Okay, byeeee. (Though, I really—really!—am happy some people had fun. They’re probably kinder than I am.)
12:30 a.m.: If you want people to judge you, just tell them you’re actually going to one of Perez Hilton’s One Night In Toronto jams. I think it’s the third annual (or something) instalment, part NXNE show/part MMVA after party. Scheduled to perform: Carly Rae Jepsen, Dragonette, Kay, Anjulie, Ed Sheeran, and Kat Graham. This year, the show supports MusiCounts, a local do-good org that helps children get access to music education. It’s at Club XS, beside the Scotiabank Theatre, a venue that used to be called Republik. The signage is still on the door, and there are metal detectors. (What is this? A high school in the Bronx?) If Britney survived 2007, surely I got this.
12:35 a.m.: I love you Shenae Grimes, in your custom, Canadian-designed, Angelina-esque dress, but I don’t know that anyone needs to see you straddle your boyfriend, nor do I need to hear about how said boyfriend dropped his pants to distract the photobloggers while you stumbled past us all. And I love you Carly Rae Jepsen but, when you passed me, I really wanted to tell you to tell everyone to cease-and-desist from producing any other blasted covers of that song. Ah! Ms. Furtado, damn girl, those hoops are big, but, like, aren’t you supposed to be somewhere else right now? It’s okay—you stayed for five minutes anyway.
12:50 a.m.: A few days ago, I emailed the Perez party’s PR rep about getting into the VIP area where all the ex-Degrassi stars were going to be, but I was relegated to standing on the “Pink Carpet” and eating Pop Chips. I thought I’d ask her up front rather than get access by myself. She politely turned me down, so I walked upstairs with wristband unchecked. (This isn’t my first time at the rodeo, after all.) Just in time to stand beside Ghostface Killah and Raekwon and watch them watch a half-assed rendition of that song: “I just met you, and this is crazy…” And to talk to my friend Holly Knowlman, who throws those big ass parties, tell me about her gig as a transport coordinator for NXNE, driving the two rappers from their earlier show and hanging with The Flaming Lips. (Wanna trade?)
We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Is Luminato still happening?