Friday night-Saturday morning, April 23-24, 2010...
I love trance music- I roll to it, I drive to it, I work out to it. I was really excited to hear that Tiesto, a Dutch DJ and arguably the best in the world, was coming to play a show at the Austin Music Hall. I got my ticket for $30 a couple months ago, but they were selling on TicketMaster for nearly $400 last week :)
I arrived with my friend John around 8pm. I left my cell in the car, afraid I'd lose it (I surely would have) and so these videos are from youtube, not me. We luckily ran into Zade shortly after, when the place was still half empty and only a local DJ, Exceed, was warming up the crowd.
The upstairs seating was pleasantly cool and uncrowded. The second DJ came on, but I was content to chill and save my energy; Tiesto was scheduled to finish at 2am but he's played a 12 hour set in the past so I wanted to be ready. I was surprised to see so many older people, 40s and up, enjoying the scene. I thought everyone would be under 25.
One young kid named Corbin asked me if it was my first rave.
First Tiesto show?
Was I rolling?
Did I know what rolling was?
"Can I ask how old you are?"
Yeah, I'm 20.
"I was dancing at raves when you were in diapers." [resisting urge to call him 'sonny.']
Finally around 10pm Tiesto took over the decks. John, Zade and I were on the floor of the hall by then, and I predictably got separated within the first 10 minutes. Here's his opening...
I finagled my way up to the front barriers keeping people back from the stage (reminding me of the Pan!), looking for my friends for the first couple minutes without success-- then I gave up and let myself be carried along on the wave.
Guys were nice about letting me through (I'm so short, I wasn't impairing their view!) but the girls were snotty little wenches even if you were working your way through the crowd on a parallel track to the stage. I endured stupidity beyond belief from little teenybopper girls acting like they wanted a fight (trust me, I did find myself thinking "You really don't know who you're threatening.")
These were taken from upstairs, most likely in the VIP section. Not a bad view, but for $100 a ticket, IF you bought tickets months ago?!
I spent about 3 hours on the floor -- the third row of people back from the barrier, dead center in front of Tiesto --- feeling some of the most amazing, intense beats reverberating through my chest... This video here gives a decent idea of how well I could see Tiesto and how close I was. At the end, around 8:37, you see a Hispanic guy, short hair, with a brown polo shirt w/ light horizontal stripes-- I was standing right behind him!!! I was probably two rows of people in front of this person doing the filming. I could see the sweat on Tiesto's brow, the level of water in the cup he drank from, the hairs on his freaking MAGIC hands.
I would have been about 3-5 people to the right of whoever filmed this. Unfortunate that the chicks were trying to sing along.
Um, did I mention he's freakin' HOT? Can't tell you how many people I overheard saying they'd jump him right then and there, given the opportunity...
Sociologically interesting- tons of people were filming this show with their phones! If they were behind someone tall, they'd watch the screens around them instead of trying to see the actual show. I noticed LOTS of people doing this.
The best way I can describe the physical sensation of being on the floor, where everyone is packed SO TIGHTLY against each other, is that there is no separation between you. Everyone together is one amazing organism, and the clothing you're wearing is only a cell wall.
There is no dancing, really. The melody line creates synchronous undulation with all the bodies, from pelvis to shoulder, because it can't be helped; everyone is a similar groove, like a hive of bees all doing the same figure-8 dance to describe where the good nectar is... When the music shifts (as it does over, and over, and over all night long) from the melody line to the more intense bass bridge, the crowd begins jumping up and down. When the beat pounds you into motion, the millimeter separating your skeleton from your neighbor's goes out the window and you simply MUST jump.
You jump as if you are connected to the ceiling with a bungee, as if you and your neighbors are all shrimp impaled on the same kabob.
After three hours of that, I was a little tired. My feet and legs were fine-- I was still loving the music and the intensity of the experience (which was a lot like being caught up in a religious ecstasy, I suppose)-- but I was hurting in other ways.
You're jammed in so tightly, and people are more interested in filming than in just absorbing, so on both sides of me and behind me there's arms upraised, holding phones. I'm just the right height to be a tricep rest or an elbow rest. Men's nasty armpits are eye level. (Do I not get enough of that in jits?) People are resting their sweaty arms on my shoulders and my head-- then the weight of their arm, sticking to my hair with sweat, is pulling my head back and down. My hair is getting stuck to the people around me and one clown asks me to put my hair in a ponytail for her convenience. Sorry, babe, I can't move my arms- suck it up. The crowd is organic and sentient, slowly swaying and moving like the sea, and it was a potentially crappy undertow. Hooray, there was a short, rotund, solidly-planted man right in front of me so, with my fingers inside his belt loops on either side of his hips, I clung to him like a limpet on a piling when the tide's going out.
My neck got really, really sore, so I decided to take a break, get a drink, and maybe go upstairs for a change of pace. I wormed my way out and upstairs, where I immediately spotted Zade. He was also separated from John early on, so we decided to have a soda and catch our breath. As we chilled out, we got more tired, and eventually decided we'd had our fill of people watching and hive-behavior. We left the building at 1:30am, enjoyed a refreshing walk to Zade's car in the (cold) rain, and I was asleep in bed before 3am.
I'm bummed I can't get more nights like that :)
So amazing.... not from Austin, it's a few years old, but amazing nonetheless...
And, backstage in Austin, 4 years ago...
I gotta wonder: is there any good jits in Ibiza?