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).
Since 2004 (it's not 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!
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.

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 :-).

Over the years, I also got the chance to meet a few of my favourite DJs, here are some pictures with Johan Gielen (2004), Paavo and Tony (2014), and Armin at Ruby Sky in 2005, 2007, and 2009:



You can find all the pictures here

Table of Content for clubbing:

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2004/10/30 Halloween Weekend Saturday: 13H of Trance continuing with Popsicle Trance Party
π 2004-10-30 23:00 by Merlin in Clubbing
You can see the evening in the Picture library of Popsicle Trance Party in San Francisco)
After about 6H of watching the Tiësto concert, and a failed attempt at a quick nap, I had multiple options for that evening. I hadn't quite recovered from the previous night with Paul Van Dyk, but somehow, the Popscicle party looked like a party not to miss, so I showed up around 11-ish, doped up on some energy drink.
While getting in was a disaster due to a huge line, and only one single person selling tickets, in a very inefficient fashion. Even with being "line efficient", it took me 30mn to get to the box office, only to realize that they didn't take credit cards, and that they had raised the price from $45 to $50, so I was $4 short. This plain sucked, there was no ATMs anywhere (this pier was really in the middle of BFE) and it was quite hard to find anyone in the line who was willing to give me $5 in exchange for a check, but eventually I found someone (thank you again, whoever you were) and finally got in.

Well, all I can say is that it was well worth the effort going there and getting in: 4 rooms with different kinds of Trance (ok, that alone was cool), but the main room also had some really cool lighting:











Later, came Justine Suissa, who sung 4 of her songs, live. That was just really sweet, as I knew all of them and she also does have a good voice. I used the opportunity to migrate to the first row, right in front of the DJ booth, since, well, you can't get any closer than that :)





Justine just rocked, this idyllic moment was only too short, but at least I was able to capture just a few bits of a few of her songs: Then, came Lange. To my great shame, I'll admit to not having known who he was until I saw and heard him spin. I only figured out later that he was a well known british DJ who had a been on a State of Trance many times (to my defense, it's not very easy to recognize his name when AVB speaks Dutch on TV).
All I can say about him is that he rocked. Not only did he seem like the nicest guy (got to shake his hand too), but he was really loving what he was doing, and spinning some great tunes. While I was supposed to be completely dead by then, his music just kept me alive.







With the time change, Lange finished around 03:00, but then it was only 02:00, and time for Above and Beyond to rock the house (at least I knew them beforehand due to the many tracks and remixes they've done).
They were also spinning some good stuff, which I really enjoyed for a little more than an hour, but I eventually ended up going home because I was beyond dead, and still had a boring, sleep inducing, drive back from San Francisco.





The pictures and videos hardly do the evening justice, but they're still quite enjoyable to browse (especially the small videos, since the sound is almost half decent :-))
2004/10/30 Halloween Weekend Sunday: Paul Oakenfold at Ruby Skye
π 2004-10-30 23:00 by Merlin in Clubbing
You can see the evening with the pictures of Oakey at Ruby Skye)
After two awesome nights, it took a lot of mustering to get the remaining energy to do this again for a 3rd day in a row: it started reminding me of Ibiza, but eh, sleep is for the weak, right? :-)
So, I had seen Oakey once before, but it had been 3 years, and I barely recognized him with his long hair :)


Before (2001)


After (2004) / Give it to me, baby :-)

This also was my first time at Ruby Skye. I had been meaning to go for a while, and this was the perfect occasion to go. Nice decor, and sure doesn't look like a cheap hangar, like 1015.




Yeah, first row again, smack in front of the DJ booth (it was halloween, remember? :-) )

Anyway, this was an awesome weekend, even if it was exhausting. For that matter, it most likely beat any 3 consecutive days I had in Ibiza, and that's saying right there.
This weekend finally gave me faith that you can find good Trance in San Francisco.
2004/10/30 Halloween Weekend Saturday: 13H of Trance starting with Tiësto in Concert Take 2
π 2004-10-30 15:00 by Merlin in Clubbing
Saturday was a long day, starting with Tiësto's concert in Holland, which started around 15:00 in our time zone. I actually considered going there for that historic event, but it didn't happen, and being able to experience the concert live, over the internet, was very cool (putting aside the fact that it required stupid windows DRM and first fixing up a windows machine)
It was fun to watch the concert live, though, while chatting with fellow trance enthousiasts on IRC, also watching. We were making fun of how stupid the interviewer was, how they found the only Dutch person who didn't know how to speak English, and how annoying the MC could be with his silly cheers. Then, we would play the "name the tune" game to see who could recognize the next song mixed in the quickest (something I'm half decent at, but some people there listen to A State of Trance every week and knew every tune by heart, down to the remix name. It was scary :-)).
2004/10/29 Halloween Weekend Friday: Paul Van Dyk @ 1015
π 2004-10-29 23:59 by Merlin in Clubbing
You can see the evening in the Picture library)
Well, I had seen PVD twice in the last few months, but it would have been silly to miss him when he came spinning locally (as opposed to going to Ibiza or New York City)



2004/10/29 Halloween Weekend 2004: EDM Weekend
π 2004-10-29 20:00 by Merlin in Clubbing
Well, this was an unusual Halloween to say the least... Due to some dance music festival in San Francisco, a lot of great Trance and other EDM DJs were there during the Halloween weekend, so for the best 3 days in a row, not counting Ibiza, I saw some of the best DJs, back to back.
2004/10/02 Loveparade SF 2004
π 2004-10-02 23:53 by Merlin in Clubbing

Just to make for a busy weekend, after Ralf's wedding, and just before his reception, was the first Love Parade in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon.
It was quite fun to walk across SF in major streets that had been blocked off, with all the floats, some quite reminiscent of burning man (for the good reason that they were the same), and just enjoy the music while dancing South to the site where all the floats ended up to play music for the rest of the afternoon.

Contrary to burning man this year, I did find some floats that played music that was quite to my liking, like this nice mix of Ian Van Dahl, Castles in the Sky





You can get the pictures and videos here

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