The Curious Case of the Empty Mark Farina Show: 8/5/17


We found out about this show the morning-of. Seriously. This didn’t even make it into our Weekly Roundup, but somehow this popped into our network at the last minute. In the early evening, as we were making pre-game dinner planning, we realized that the show started in an hour. Ok, so we could get by missing some of the opener to get a drink and some dinner, but I question how many other people got this memo.

We arrived at Warehouse Live with a heck of a lot of excitement and anticipation sometime close to 10. If the show was seriously going to end at midnight (like the interwebz said), we did not want to miss ANY of his mastery. Yes, we are totally fans, but for good reason! We have never been let down by a Farina set, plus he has always been a gracious and generally friendly guy when we’ve met him.

When we walked into Warehouse Live, our hearts nearly stopped. We counted about 30 people in the room, making a crescent around the dance floor. The opener seemed to still be in good spirits despite the lack of attendees. When Farina appeared on stage, he leaned over and whispered something into the opener’s ear. Farina walked into the crowd, got a drink, and hung out for a good while. Meanwhile, we were standing about 10 feet from him, frozen. Oh yes, we’ve talked to and interviewed international talent, INCLUDING Farina himself. However, at that moment, we turned into blubbering 10-years-olds, like we were kids at a brand new school. We shamefully stood by the bar, nudging the other to say hello and ask to take a photo. We were a bunch of fucking chickens.

Behind the decks


Eventually, Farina hopped back on stage, about 30 minutes late (maybe they were fixing the sound or waiting for things to fill up?). As predicted, it was a glorious, soulful, funky, and positive House set. Every mix was flawless, the crowd was possessed by the soul of Jack… But again, at the peak of the evening, there were maybe 100 people in the room. The plus side of this is that there was ample room to dance and be silly. We couldn’t help but feel embarrassed and sad for Houston, both for not knowing the talent that was here, but feeling like we disrespected him. Farina still performed like there were 1,000 people in the room, and that had no effect on his set whatever. No temper tantrums, no major delay in his set. Just a solid block of joyful house that felt like it came from the man’s soul. That is a true humble talent, playing a set because you love to share your music, not the fame or reliant on the adoration.

The audience and their master

We wonder what happened to the event though. Why an all ages event? Why did no one hear about this event? As we spread the word the evening of, no one else seemed to even know he was coming, and were pissed because they all already had other plans. We barely had a blip on our radar of a House pioneer until the last minute. Where was the breakdown? We heard a rumor of electronic music acts not getting proper treatment at non-traditional dance venues before, but this was the first time we’d seen it for ourselves. Shows outside of normal dance music-friendly venues can be odd, but we weren’t expecting this.

So, Mark (can we call you Mark now, even though we were total chicken?), thank you for still playing a fantastic set. We could have given a shit if there were two people in the room. Your sets always feel like they are from the heart, and for each and every one of us in attendance. It’s always an honor.

Pros: The glorious tunes of Mark Farina, friendly bartenders, plenty of room to dance, new friends in the crowd, people getting REALLY into the music.

Cons: The pathetic turnout at Warehouse Live, the thought that we might have saddened Mark Farina, the complete and utter lack of promotion of the event.

Rating: A-

Seriously, y’all.  Show some fucking respect and go to (house) church!

About Bex Meanie

Journalist/blogger since 2009 and music lover since 1980. Bex now travels the world and writes and takes photos of dance events, creates art in various media, sings quietly to her cat in the shower, and occasionally builds something that tends to involve a blowtorch. She can usually be seen hiding behind some sort of camera rig.

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