Monday Social @ The Playhouse
January 24, 2012
Better than…Remembering that the week has only just started.
When I interviewed Moguai for West Coast Sound recently, he spoke about keeping an eye on the crowd. That's exactly what the German DJ did last night at Monday Social, which isn't a typical club night. The weekly party has been going strong for 15 years, hosted gigs from some of the biggest DJs, and has a reputation as a spot for serious club-goers. After all, you have to be pretty hardcore to dance until 2:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.
The crowd tends to be older than what you'll see at the big EDM events, and they know the music. Sure, Moguai signed to Deadmau5's label mau5trap, but he's also had a long career, and his new single “Mpire” just hit the top spot on Beatport.
By the time Moguai took the decks shortly after midnight, the crowd had been warmed up by locals Adam Auburn and David Bullock. With the packed floor already in a deep, groovy trance thanks to tracks like disco classic “Let's All Chant,” Moguai didn't have to create any sort of build-up. He jumped right into the heavy-hitting festival tracks, spinning Skrillex's monster hit “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” early in the set. The crowd was ready for it. This also meant that Moguai could get the hits out of his system right away.
Moguai dropped more than a few bangers throughout the course of the night — notably his own remix of Fatboy Slim's “Ya Mama” and Zombie Nation's “Kernkraft 400”– but he did so with a light touch. He didn't bombard us with the big tracks. He let the crowd breath and knew exactly when to tease the audience with song snippets and familiar synth lines. As the bars in the venue were shutting down, Moguai still had the crowd in his hands, singing along to a gorgeous remix of Florence and the Machine's “You've Got the Love.”
But there was more to the night that Moguai. Upstairs in the venue's High Society Lounge, local Hyphy Crunk opened the night with a stellar set. You can send requests to him via Twitter and Facebook; I don't know how much of the set consisted of requests, but he threw in a few golden numbers that I hadn't heard out in a while, including Dirty Vegas' “Days Go By,” Stardust's “Music Sounds Better with You” and two from Green Velvet (“Shake and Pop” and “La La Land”).
Last night's surprise treat was a set from San Francisco-based duo WhiteNoize in the High Society room. I had never seen them before, but their disco house production style was a hit with the small crowd that hung around the lounge. Watch out for these two DJ/producers.
Personal bias: I sometimes get distracted by the sets that aren't being played on the main stage.
The crowd: A mix of bottle service customers and people who hang out on the dance floor all night.
Random Notebook Dump: I can't figure out why Playhouse has a bar set up right in front of the stage. Doesn't that waste precious dance floor space?