This is hilarious. I wrote about seeing Carl Cox on New Year’s Day back in 1999. I was 24.
“The night started trying to find the place, not a big deal, we just showed up a bit early. I was with my Fiancé Kerry and my cousin Peter. We decided to get some food, then come back. MMMM Arby’s. I don’t know what it is, but fast food makes me want to puke. So we get back, we were told it would start at about 10 o’clock, and were there at 9:40 in case there was a line.
“There was, about 19 people or so. After about five minutes of standing and watching them bring stuff in, music started, obviously a DJ messing around. It was nipply out so most people were bobbing about keeping warm. I had to poop. After about fifteen more minutes everyone wanted to get in because it was pretty chilly out now; everyone was pretty calm though, no bum rushing. The DJ seemed to be trying to mix these songs together, but was off quite a bit, there was a horrible Galloping beat and I didn’t like the idea of paying $20 at the door for a galloping beat.
“They finally let the people in at about 10:20, we looked back and saw a TON of people…I mean a lot!! We were glad we got there early or else we would be out a lot longer!! The cover was $25 at the door, but because we all still only have our Alaska ID, they gave us a 20% out of state discount which was pretty cool, I thank them 8) We were frisked, and allowed in. The first twenty of us milled about the cavernous, cold warehouse listening to the Opening DJ who wasn’t as bad as it sounded. As it actually turned out, there was a tent with another DJ spinning Drum n Bass, that’s what caused the galloping.
“After a few songs, the incessant house beat got old, especially with only 75 or so people standing there waiting for something. They were frisking everyone, and there were only three guards, so it was taking a while for everyone to get in. We headed into the tent. The Drum n bass was a bit more intriguing, but I think this DJ was trying to prove something, he had it going a tad bit too fast. Drum n Bass is one of my preferred styles at the moment, and I would have gladly stayed in the tent, but watching the ten people thrashing, trying to move their feet all fast ‘n shit was laughable, especially when they we just dancing EXACTLY as they would if they were listening to the house inside.
“We went back into the warehouse, more people were working there way in, I had to poop. The music throbbed on with its 120 bpm, I tried to find a groove to start dancing, but it would hit me. I bobbed and started to shuffle my feet, but was pretty bored. Now don’t get me wrong, the DJ was a great mixer, I had NO problem with his technical skills, but the selection was very homogenous. Weather I’m on the radio or DJ live, I always try to mix it up a bit , play different styles, make it INTERESTING! A groove finally hit me and we all eventually started dancing.
“Let me take a minute to try and recall the decor and lighting. It was pretty cool. In the middle of the floor toward the front was the lighting control “scaffold” and a LCD projector was um…projecting your usual Rave Video Fare, anime, computer graphics, 70’s stuff, the coolest was this freaky morphing of about 100 or so romance novel cover couples. They are all so similar that when they were morphing it was really weird. I had to poop. There was a laser writing on three translucent ceiling hangings that quartered the ceiling and made three “screens” for neat green laser graphics. Another red laser was whipping between mirrors that were aimed at several mirrored balls, that made a lot of little lasers twitching all over the place. The other assorted lights were normal and don’t really need description. The DJ was performing on a large pedestal with three turn tables.
“Finally I saw Carl walk through the crowd and behind the speakers. Not many people recognized him, but when he popped up over the turntables, the crowd started cheering and everyone moved forward. He started mixing the first song of his set and the crowd cheered again. Not many were dancing though….hmmm. The performance was mainly of songs I really didn’t recognize, which was cool, but I think I’d rather hear good songs everyone knows than mediocre songs I’ve never heard. It was all your typical house fare, no ground breaking styles, nothing really “New”. His energy was great, he would stop the music for four beats and yell to the crowd, “Happy New Year!” first, then “Every body Make some Noise!” or “Put your Hands up!” or whatnot. He flawlessly mixed three turntables, holding up each record as he pulled it off the platter, did some nice scratching, and even had a great recovery when someone bumped the stage or something. What was obnoxious was the morons from the crowd standing behind him thinking there were cool being back there. It got old. There was no way I was going to poop in a overfilled porta potty. Pretty soon (about an hour and a half) the next DJ got on. I think he was Taj, and he played some Goa and a few songs I recognized. He did a pretty good job too, really milked the breakdowns and buildups. A couple times Peter and I got excited to hear a break beat, but he always popped a house beat a few measures into it and ruined it. Basically we got sick of the four on the floor, 120 bpm house crap. Its good stuff, but moderation in all things. We decided to head home, it was 1:45 and I had to be at work at 10 am. On the way out we saw the line hadn’t diminished much, despite the place being packed. That was pretty cool. We went to Denny’s like all good ravers should and then went home. All in all it was enjoyable, but disappointing. Peter and I must have had “WALK BY ME” signs on, because no matter where we danced, everyone walked in front of, behind, around us. Really annoying! Peter got to see Fat Boy Slim in Denver for his “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby” release party and was by the turntables the whole time and said for five hours he was going “Oh Daaaamn” because of the mixing and selection, according to Pete, Norman was much much better…mebbe Carl Cox WAS the Worlds Greatest…
“Now we did leave kind of early, so we probably missed a second set…so in all fairness I will say we may have missed some Phat Shit!
“I got to POOP!!!”