Rezz at the PNE Forum
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Rezz—the stage name of Isabelle Rezazadeh—is a Canadian DJ and producer hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario. She played at the PNE Forum on November 17. The PNE Forum is different in comparison to many other venues in Vancouver. The entire venue is very open and breathable, which makes it especially good for electronic concerts.
Arriving to the venue late, I missed the first opener Tails’ set. Tails did not leave an impression on my friends, so they said I didn’t miss much (I’d seen Tails at FVDED though, where he was amazing). Instead, I walked into the venue during 1788-L’s performance, a relatively new producer in the scene who gained popularity through their remix of “Particle Arts” by Virtual Self (Porter Robinson). The drops were unique and everything about the performance gave off a vibe that I hadn’t heard before, which is a goldmine for an EDM producer. I’d never heard of 1788-L before, but I’m sure to keep an eye on them from now forth. After 1788-L, Drezo was on. As the final opening act, Drezo was incredible and hyped up the crowd for Rezz, who was up next.
Rezz began her set with an homage to the Halloween movie theme song, paired with animated visuals of her walking in a forest. Most of her set was dedicated to a mix between her new album, Certain Kind of Magic, which came out this year, and “Nightmare on Rezz Street”, which is a half-hour-long Halloween mix of previously-unreleased music also released earlier this year.
Rezz danced along to her music, pumped her fists in the air, and just generally seemed to have a good time on stage. Her visuals were hypnotizing. I recognized most of the visuals from “Nightmare on Rezz Street,” which was a Halloween project with visuals holding the same importance as the music itself. A lot of the graphics followed an animated version of Rezz herself discovering new lands and using magic. Some scenes presented her looking like a monster, while others made her look like a god with multiple arms and looking down on everyone at the Forum. Hearing a crowd scream out the sounds to songs without lyrics is an experience like no other.
I was most excited to hear her remix of “Divinity” by Porter Robinson off his album Worlds, which she had mentioned was in the works on her Twitter page. Porter Robinson is one of my favourite producers, so this remix was a match made in heaven. What surprised me during Rezz’s set was that she also remixed “Shelter,” a song made by both Porter Robinson and Madeon, another of my favourite producers. These two plus Rezz take the spots of my top three favourites, so hearing these songs remixed was a dream—one I didn’t know I had—come true. The remixes themselves were beautiful. Rezz ended her entire set on the last lines of “Divinity”: “You see right through me.”
Unexpectedly emotional, I loved the set and am excited for Rezz to come back to Vancouver. In the meantime, I’ll be making kandi bracelets for Contact Festival, which is just around the corner.