Today’s events are all about making the best out of what you’re given and staying positive despite what happens. My Easyjet flight from Milan to Amsterdam was scheduled for 7:30 am, to arrive at 9:30 am so that I would have plenty of time to settle in and be ready for meetings starting at 1pm. Then came the eMail and text that my reservation had been cancelled – making me thankful that I had a second ticket purchased for 11am (I originally bought the 11am ticket and then bought the 9am ticket two weeks ago when I saw how the day schedule was wrapping up). I arrived at the airport and dealt with Easyjet nonsense – you can only bring one bag on board – not a personal item and a bag. I had already paid to check one piece of luggage, but now I had to pay to check a second. The good thing is that I got to the gate and run into the manager of Listen To. Then Alex Gaudino walked in. Then Joe T. Vanelli. Then Get Far. Suddenly, the waiting area for the flight turned into the Italian delegation to Amsterdam Dance Event. Even the 45 minutes the flight was delayed wasn’t so bad as I got to network. They all asked why I was in Milan, and I even spoke perfume talk with the lovely woman who just moved from Universal to Warners.
My interviews were scheduled to start at 1:30 pm. I texted ahead to say that I wouldn’t be there until at least 2:30, which ended up being closer to 3:30. Luckily all the guys were still there, and in succession I interviewed Dubvision, Firebeatz, Julian Jordan, TV Noise, D-Wayne, Ryan Marciano, & Sunnery James. The Media Nanny people were more than generous – feeding me and giving me Red Bulls. That was quite helpful as I had been up since midnight.
It was time to go to the Felix Merits to register, get the bag, and see what’s up. I ran into Duane Harden (who I am interviewing tomorrow), Giuseppe D, rising pop star Taylor Jones, Joe T. Vanelli (who agreed to a picture since I didn’t want to ask him at the airport), the Ultra crew, and more. It’s going to be a crazy week.
A quick change at the apartment turned into a 2-hour nap on the couch before I was summoned to the 7 Stars Music party. I arrived to see the smiling face of Lee Dagger as Marc JB was spinning. It was a great vibe and the owner of 7 Stars looks like an Olsen twin, except pretty and not malnourished. Victoria Aitken sang two songs to good response, and just as I was heading out, I bumped into Frank Lamboy and Jen Cunetta who were performing at two venues the same night. Since my next party was at Escape and there is often door drama there – I knew to get there by 11pm.
Since I always carry a handful of earplugs, security always gives me crap, thinking I am a drug dealer. Those of you who know me realize how asinine that is. Once I cleared security, I walked into the big room and was greeted by Firebeatz building the crowd up. Their set of electro, house, and stadium was fresh, well-curated, and well-mixed. I never really got how two DJs could spin together, but I enjoyed watching the two of them have a good time and energize the crowd.
It was quite refreshing that the headliner for the Doorn party, Sander Van Doorn, came on at 12:30 rather than being held for the closing spot. He mixed together his big records, mashups (including a fierce one of Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” and his “Koko”), and a few tracks that I couldn’t place. Watching him spin, it hit me what makes a DJ a superstar DJ – confidence. Let’s face it – anyone (as deadmau5 say) can press play. But the skill of being confident (not arrogant) really gets a crowd to follow you. I thoroughly enjoyed his set and can totally see why he has such a devoted (bordering on obsessive) fanbase.
I was really getting tired but knew that I wanted to stick around to check out the dirty Dutchman Quintino. While I liked his music selection and the way he programmed it, there was something about his mixing style that struck me as odd. I guess I am old school and think there is a need for an overlay between tracks to introduce them. I wouldn’t call his mixing style slam-based- everything was on beat and fit – it was just a little ADHD for my tastes. I will be the first to say that I jump around from time to time as a DJ, but his set was almost like the EDM version of a Kathy Griffin comedy show – combining divergent sounds together for a cohesive whole. You know, the whole forest for the trees thing. In no way am I discounting Quintino’s skill as a DJ or performer – the crowd was up for him – it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
Now it’s time for me to take a nap so I can wake up in the morning and prepare for a full day of interviews.