I went out raving last night, for the first time in several years, and it was amazing!
One of my favorite producers of jungle from the last few years was in town from the UK, something that doesn't happen all that often in my city, so it was especially awesome. A couple of longtime oldscholl homies I've not seen in a while were playing, too. And as I anticipated, there was a ton of other people I'd not seen in quite some time who showed up, along with a bunch of people who are friends of friends or individuals I should somehow otherwise at least meet once. It was a really magical night, all said.
The venue was pretty dope. Smaller sized but more than ample for the crowd and sound. Some art on the walls. Tucked away in the warehouse district not more than two miles from my front door. 420 and BYOB friendly only sweetened the deal.
I got to the venue about 20 minutes before showtime because I had to rely on the bus schedule and I dind't want to show up after doors opened, not even a minute after, as it was only a 5 hour show and I wanted to catch everyone on the lineup. So I stood outside and smoked a couple of cigarettes and listened to soundcheck while watching trains go by. I didn't film any of the trains, like an idiot.
The night started off relatively mellow with the local hometown reggae/dancehall champion warming up the system with some original productions with original voicings in the aforementioned reggae and dancehall realm. Was really nice to hear his catalog of originals, new and old, especially on a soundsytem of this caliber. Hadn't seen him for close to 5 years, probably closer to 10 years since I saw him play, so it was a real delight. Brilliant start to the night.
Next up was the hometown hero who has been making waves in North American jungle and drum'n'bass the last few years. She has won DJ awards, been dropping original productions on well respected North American labels, helping to bring a lot of amazing talent to the area (most of which I've been missing because life is a bitch like that). She dropped a three deck set of absolute bangers from front to back, truly an amazing DJ with impeccable selections and mixing. And just an absolute sweetheart, to boot. Her and her husband are an amazing jungle/dnb one-two combo that cannot be fucked with. It was such an awesome experience to catch her go three decks deep on such an amazing soundsystem.
By the time she was halfway through her set, the venu was more or less full and the vibe was thick in the air - much like the marijuana smoke, being 420 and all.
Next up was the guy who owned and operated the soundsystem. I chatted with him briefly and this was the first time the soundsystem had been employed in this formation and he had never played on it, not even to test. He was both nervous and excited. But it was clear to both he and I, after the first two DJs that it was an amazing configuration of top tier audio equipment and he was more excited to play on it than nervous. I had had a weird vibe about him before meeting and chatting with him, for no good reason at all really, and he was the chillest dude ever, stoked to talk sound and event promotion and music.
And then he proceeded to just tear the place down with his set. The screams and roars started during the previous DJ, but they were echoing and bouncing off the walls during his set. He played some absolutely classic bangers mixed with a bunch of newer stuff in delicate and expert fashion that was a sight and sound to behold.
Next up, and last but absolutely not least, was the headliner, the reason this event even happened, and arguably the primary reason all of us were there. And oh my gosh
He came to the venue early, like barely after doors opened, unlike most touring acts, which I thought was really awesome. I found him vibing out and went and chatted him up briefly, coolest. dude. ever.
He was pretty excited about the DJs so far and the soundsystem and space, as well as his experience at the previous few gigs he'd played on his North American tour beforehand. I did my best to not fanboy too hard, but after about 4 minutes it became pretty obvious to me that I failed so I ended the conversation and dipped out.
And moments later. He absolutely demolished the venue, the soundsystem, and the crowd.
All said and done, last night was the best night I have had in years! Incredible music, crowd, friends, sound, venue, and perfect moment in my life for it to have gone down. Life affirming business, full stop.
That said, I ain't been this haggard after a show in a long time. But it's also been a very long time since I've been out to a show, so. But man, the body ain't what it used to be, that's for sure.