We’ve been big fans of Markus Schulz’ productions for several years. So when we saw that he was coming to town, we had really high hopes for his set. We were graciously gifted a ticket by a friend that couldn’t make the show due to some travel issues. We rallied our troops, took a disco nap, and headed out to Stereo Live.
We walked in the front door the moment that Markus took the stage (sorry, openers! We were tired!) to thunderous applause. What started out as a fantastic set began to wear on us though. The mix was up waaay too high to the point where we couldn’t get into the crowd because it was making parts of our bodies twitch, and the lights made us long for our sunglasses. Sadfaced, we retreated to the upper level, where we grouped up with all of our friends.
Something felt off for us that night and it wasn’t apparent until about halfway through the set. Markus, despite being a true hit making producer, wasn’t really mixing at all. He would tease and cut, tease and cut, and made some gratuitous uses of the back spin on the decks. Every time, it would stop us in our tracks from dancing. We wanted to send him a message to quit breaking up our groove!
Now, there were some serious highlights from his set. At points, it was a serious heartfelt sing along as he dropped Zedd’s Clarity, Destiny, Let it Rain, and other tracks off of the pop heavy Watch the World. These had fantastic visual accompaniments that notched up the production, but were very apparent that it was fairly pre-planned.
Frustrated with the start-stop tempo of the evening, and outright disgusted with someone who had some intensely stinky bowel gas, we retreated outside and caught the tail end of SJPJ’s set, which was fantastic, as well as the driving trance tracks of Matt Cannon. There, we caught up with some friends, many of whom where DJs themselves. One of them mentioned how this was a significantly technically better set than the last time he saw Schulz. We lamented on a point in the evening where we literally had 2 songs in 2 non compatible keys being mixed together (our ears!). Still, we concluded that not every DJ needed to be a master turntablist (like Eric Prydz) for the audience to have a good time, but we did look at see lots of WTF looks throughout the crowd.
Speaking of the crowd, we did notice a little shift from our normal Stereo attendees. There was a significantly older crowd, and moms that went with their kids, clutching their large hobo bags. We LOVE to see when the whole family can appreciate the music we all love. You are never too old to listen to great music!
Pros: Pretty good track selection, some parts got really driving, lots of crowd participation, diverse crowd, great visuals.
Cons: Mixing was too quick, iffy rhythm continuity, sound was too much at points. Some track transitions actually brought large portions of the crowd to simply stop dancing.
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