Was it really that long since i last went out? Kinda. I also went to see Jason Hodges, a Toronto house DJ, and subsequently didn't fucking go out for ages. I did see Nine Inch Nails and Guns'n'Roses, which were my favorite bands ever when i was mid-teens and young-teens respectively, but they don't really count because they're rock. I'm glad i went, but rock shows still don't do it for me, even when they're legendary bands that i own every release of.
So last night Marshall Jefferson was playing at Yum Yum, and this new Swedish guy called Style of Eye was playing a gig the promoter of Carter, Maeda, etc was putting on. For some reason if you're into techno in Australia you'll always end up double-booked. I swear the promoters must all be in it together, choosing the same weekends to do their gigs. In any case, since last time i chose the "big name" (Derrick Carter) over the "underground name" (Steve Bug) i figured why not go the other way tonight.
It was an interesting night, i'll give it that ;-) It was held at this fuck off big club called the Metro - in fact the same club i saw Nine Inch Nails at. It's got a tiered mezzanine level with tons of seating, multiple bars, the works. Walked into the main room and holy crap. What a contrast to NIN. Hearing real studio-recorded music pump out of that amazing sound system was fucking awesome, there's no way live instruments will ever get that clean and sharp sounding. The hi-hats swung like fucking Tarzan, it was incredible.
Of course, some obscure Swedish dude playing at this huge club didn't really go down too well. I ordered a few Asahis ($9 a pop, you gotta be kidding...) and grooved around behind the lighting desk for an hour or so. The crowd probably hit a peak of a hundred, which in the Metro is a bit like that sad crinkly soft pack that you suddenly find an extra cigarette in you never thought you had. But that cigarette is always the best of the whole pack - the music was fucking kicking.
Unfortunately playing off the club's usual crowd to get numbers meant there were assloads of teenagers there, tragically some of whom had to go home because their parents found out they weren't really staying over at a friend's place (i'm not kidding - i talked to these people in the bathroom). The response when i revealed my age to them made me feel terribly old ("what, are you serious???"). I think a lot of them were still in the stage where watching each other dance was more important than just kicking back and having fun. Toward the end of Style of Eye's set, when the core group of house headz were all that was left, the vibe was totally different. If we'd all been in a little shitty underground bar it would've been absolutely banging. Of course the sound quality was lightyears ahead of what you'd get in a shitty underground bar, so i guess that's an up-side :-)
I've been to lots of parties before that just couldn't pull numbers. I remember a fantastic gig i went to that was up against Carl Cox and it must've pulled about 50 all night. It's always a real bummer because the club owners kick the promoters out early, the DJs don't get as buzzed because they don't have the same feedback, and there's that snowball effect of people leaving because noone wants to be the last person dancing. It's so frustrating for everyone. And inevitably it's these gigs that have the best music. Poo.