Marc's Public Blog - Clubbing and Trance


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Ok, so I like electronic dance music, more specifically Trance. Unfortunately, the US, it's let's just say... a bit behind in that department. If you ever hear such music on the radio, or even in the street, let me know (for instance, in Australia, I heard great Trance in even a waterslide park of all places, and in Europe you can easily get EDM/Trance on broadcast radio). At least that was very true when I wrote this around year 2000. With San Francisco and San Jose nearby, I've had some opportunities to see some great EDM/Trance DJs. Back in the early 2000's, they sadly played club music in the US that was nowhere close to the hits they had composed and were known for, but over the years, as Trance started becoming more popular, those DJs finally started playing their good tunes in the US too, and maybe from 2004 on, it's only been getting better.

Since 2004 (it's now 2016), the good news is that Trance has grown quite a following in the US, and places like the SF Bay Area, and while Trance has been declared dead a few times in the last 10 years, it's still going strong here, and we're lucky to have at least one or two big Trance parties per year, so yeah! Trance Family SF is definitely strong in the area, I'm thankful of the friends I made there.

Over time, I've seen many of my favorite DJs across the world, whether it was locally, in New York City, Canada, Australia, and of course Ibiza, and at Halloween 2004, I finally attended some great local parties that proved that you could get the good stuff locally too (even if all the artists came from other countries :-)). Popsicle Halloween 2004 was really the beginning of great music parties in the San Francisco Area, and thankfully things have gotten even better since then

Over the years, I also got the chance to meet a few of my favourite DJs, including Armin more than once, and my last hobby has been to work on lights for my shirt and pants:



You can find all the pictures here

Table of Content for clubbing:

More pages: March 2019 February 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 November 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 December 2016 November 2016 September 2016 August 2016 June 2016 May 2016 January 2016 September 2015 August 2015 June 2015 September 2014 August 2014 May 2014 September 2013 May 2012 May 2011 December 2009 November 2009 April 2009 March 2009 October 2008 June 2008 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 May 2007 April 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 June 2006 May 2006 January 2006 December 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 June 2005 May 2005 February 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 June 2004 August 2003 July 2003 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 July 2001 June 2000




2019/03/23 TFSF9 at Midway SF
π 2019-03-23 01:01 in Clubbing
It's been almost a year since TFSF8 for which I had built my matrix shirt.

It was time to try my new beta shirt with 6144 pixels instead of 768 pixels per side. That was a lot more work (months of work to get a new driver working and port my code). It's not perfect yet, but it's a good start:

This was last year, Shirt v3:


And this year with my Shirt v4:



Back to TFSF9, this year was only 2 rooms/DJs compared to the 4 rooms/DJs in TFSF7 and TFSF8 these last 2 years. There is a case to less is more, too many rooms makes it hard to enjoy much of anything, knowing that you're missing 3 other sets at the same time, but maybe 3 rooms would have been better, or at least using one of the indoors rooms instead of the somewhat chilly outside psytrance patio?

Anyway, I was there bright and early with my friend Triode to make sure I could enjoy the entire night, and got a few pictures during setup;


Kim checking out the VIP menu
Kim checking out the VIP menu

The 2 stages started going soon after 20:00 and the main room was more enjoyable than last year where it was overrun with smoke and a bit too packed at times:










Then, soon after 23:00, my I went to check out Triode's custom set he had been working on and telling me about during the week. As we jokingly said, I dedicated it as the "zero fucks given" set :) It was fun to see how it went all over and jumped from tune to tune just enough to tease you and then go in another direction. Quite fun and enjoyable:





After Triode, I went back to the main room for Ferry Corsten who went from midnight to 03:00.



In between, I went arond the rooms to mingle with the crowds and catch up with some friends:





Triode and Afik talking shop
Triode and Afik talking shop

And before long, it was 04:00, end of the evening. Thanks all for the great vibes and the music. See you next time!

See more images for TFSF9 at Midway SF
2019/03/09 Cosmic Gate @ SF Regency Ballroom
π 2019-03-09 01:01 in Clubbing
Cosmic Gate has been celebrating their 20 years with a tour that landed in San Francisco at the Regency Ballroom.

Taj opened the evening:



Then Cosmic Gate took over from 10:30 to 02:00 with lots of classics:


Emma Hewitt came for a surprise visit to sing multiple of those classic tracks:




After those tracks, they went on for the rest of the evening, great tracks and great night:



See more images for Cosmic Gate @ SF Regency Ballroom
2019/03/01 ATB at Mezzanine
π 2019-03-01 01:01 in Clubbing
Doors opened at 21:00 with Jonathan opening:


Niko took over after that:




After a long wait, ATB finally showed up at 00:30. Despite being close to the front, it was hard to take pictures due to lack of lighting and some bad apples in the crowd that were pushing and shoving to try and get closer. 2 out of control girls kept pushing violently and managed to damage my shirt. Too bad security guys were completely unreachable on that side of the room without losing the spot I had spent hours to get...

ATB's set, while on the short side (just 90mn), was good. I did my best to enjoy it despite the crowd and shoving issues that Mezzanine was unable to see or address:





After his set, he nicely came to shake people's hands, which is obviously not something you get at a big festival where you'd usually see him:




Video summary:

See more images for ATB at Mezzanine
2019/02/22 Infected Mushroom at Mezzanine
π 2019-02-22 01:01 in Clubbing
Opulent Temple has been rocking the playa for many years I was lucky enough to first find them back in 2005: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/clubbing/2005-09.html#DJ-Ti_sto-at-Opulent-Temple-Black-Rock-City-_Burning-Man_ and 2007: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/clubbing/post_2007-09-01_DJ-Dan-Paul-Oakenfold-Gabriel-Christopher-Lawrence-at-Burning-Man.html , and been enjoying them since then. Just last burning man in 2018, they had awesome shows. Thanks guys!

Obviously, this costs money. I remember making donations to their funds back in the day, but as a more sustainable approach, they have been running fundraiser events like this one, and apparently with enough of them, it's been able to more or less fund Opulent Temple at Burning Man. Well done guys.

Infected Mushroom definitely puts on a show. It's kind of hard to describe, but Syd Gris wrote "their electric live shows" which sounds like a good description. The event was sold out a month in advance and so packed that I couldn't quite take decent videos, so I stuck to pictures, and even those were tough (ok, I was also enjoying an experience appropriate to the evening).




















Big thanks to the OT crew for bringing us this show, it was definitely one for the books.

See more images for Infected Mushroom at Mezzanine
2019/02/15 Paul van Dyk at Pure Nightclub
π 2019-02-15 01:01 in Clubbing
Paul Van Dyk at a club 10mn away from my house? Abolutely, sign me up :)

It had been a while since I went to Pure in Sunnyvale, given the ridiculous search they put me through last time, and the attitude of their bouncers that really pissed me off (never mind how pointless the search was anyway).
This time again, they did a weird search going into my camera pouches and looking at weird things while skipping the entire contents of my pockets which they clearly felt were no empty (I even had an umbrella in there). I really don't get their logic... On the plus side, they didn't card me to ensure I was indeed more than 21...

Anyway, once in, the opening DJ was ok-ish but totally not playing the same kind of music, and around midnight PvD arrived and layed a decent set:










See more images for Paul van Dyk at Pure Nightclub
2019/02/01 Transcend SF: Chicane/4 Strings at Mezzanine
π 2019-02-01 01:01 in Clubbing
Great lineup this night:
  • Jonn Connor B2B Northern SouI
  • Jason Reign
  • Taj B2B DJ Blurr
  • Chicane & 4 Strings
  • Chromata









  • Chicane was super nice and spent time talking with his fans and taking pictures after his set
    Chicane was super nice and spent time talking with his fans and taking pictures after his set

    and Khromata was there to close a great night. Thank you!
    and Khromata was there to close a great night. Thank you!

    Chicane played so many great classics that I ended up recording 1h10mn from that evening:

    2018/12/20 Audio SF: Phoria Holiday Party with John Askew
    π 2018-12-20 01:01 in Clubbing
    Nice intimate party at Audio SF with John Askew. Great way to end the year:






    2018/12/14 Trance Family SF Xmas Party: Cold Blue at Halcyon SF
    π 2018-12-14 01:01 in Clubbing
    This was a great year for Trance in San Francisco, time to top it off with a party.









    Video summary:

    2018/11/23 Dreamstate Socal, California's Manageable EDC
    π 2018-11-23 01:01 in Clubbing
    So, you're thinking I've gone crazy already, but follow my reasoning: EDC Vegas is awesome, but 3 days is gruesome, never mind from 19:00 to 06:00 or somesuch (usually not back at the room before 07:30 and sleeping by 08:00 just to get up again between 14:00 and 16:00 for another round). It's like an 8h timechange overnight for 3 days, and even if you use "help" to stay awake, that doesn't really work 3 days in most cases.
    This is why Dreamstate Socal is a great event: 2 days is more manageable, and it was nice to have it start as early as 16:30 and end at 02:00, making it less of a timeshift. It was also nice to walk back to my hotel room in 20mn as opposed to spending 75-120mn getting back from EDC to a room.
    The lineup was solid, with 3 stages (one being psytrance), it was impossible to get bored.

    Nicely decorated venue:





    Plenty of people were lit:



    my sonic hedgehog found a friend :)
    my sonic hedgehog found a friend :)




    Great to run into friends again:









    Day #1:
























    Video summary of day #1:

    And that was it for Day #1, after some well needed sleep, I was there bright and early at 16:30 for Day #2 and Niko's set that was starting earlier than originally planned:














    we ended with Gareth Emery's laserface
    we ended with Gareth Emery's laserface







    Video summary of day #2:

    And just like this, after 18h30 over 2 days, it was over. It may not quite be EDC, but honestly the lineup and the music were great, and it was a lot easier/cheaper to attend. Heartily recommended. Hopefully I'll see you all for the next one:


    2018/11/21 Paul Van Dyk back at 1015, Folsom
    π 2018-11-21 01:01 in Clubbing
    It's now been ages since I first saw PvD at 1015 in 2001 and then he was back at 1015 in 2004. It was great to see him again there. Not only that, but my friends Blurr and Triode, as well as Sonic Fuzion were also spinning that night. All 4 rooms were going:




    Taj was next, just before PvD
    Taj was next, just before PvD


    basement was also banging
    basement was also banging



    PvD was next at midnight
    PvD was next at midnight



    and just like that, it was over after 2h
    and just like that, it was over after 2h

    Blurr took back over for the rest of the night
    Blurr took back over for the rest of the night

    Video summary:

    See more images for Paul Van Dyk back at 1015, Folsom

    More pages: March 2019 February 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 November 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 December 2016 November 2016 September 2016 August 2016 June 2016 May 2016 January 2016 September 2015 August 2015 June 2015 September 2014 August 2014 May 2014 September 2013 May 2012 May 2011 December 2009 November 2009 April 2009 March 2009 October 2008 June 2008 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 May 2007 April 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 June 2006 May 2006 January 2006 December 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 June 2005 May 2005 February 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 June 2004 August 2003 July 2003 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 July 2001 June 2000