Drupalcon 2012 set

Well, I found myself with an opportunity to spin tunes at the Denver 2012 Drupalcon conference party. Yes, Acquia (my company) sponsored it. So maybe it's no coincidence that I got the gig.... Nonetheless, I did need to get past the organizing committee (which means my style couldn't suck; but I didn't need to be a big-name guy, either. Lucky thing....)

And, let me just say it: I had a blast. There were nearly 2,000 people in the party, and that's the most I've ever played in front of.

I played from 7:30pm to 1:15am. I had only expected (and planned) to play about 3 hours. Imagine my surprise when I learn I (get to) play for > 5 hours instead of 3. I didn't turn it down. I'd planned on about 2 hours of more laid-back Deep House, then maybe an hour of danceable music.

Surprise: It ended up about 90 minutes of Deep, but once I tried a dance tune or two, a starting crowd of 25 started dancing immediately. This grew to 50 or so dancring directly in front of the stage where I was (including one that did some nice ballet-style stuff during a non-beat interlude). I didn't get to see directly, but others told me there were groups dancing in the two other rooms, too. Plus, there were plenty of non-dancers that were just hanging out by the stage getting into the music.

The most fun: Several cuties came up on the stage & danced for a while; I'd have loved to keep them there to keep the crowd (and me) happy. New experience for me! But eventually the club management shooed them off the stage. (Bummah!)

OTOH, I admit that I got a little sloppy after about 4 hours. I recorded my mix (broken into part 1 and part 2 by Serato) for post-spin reality-check. (Note: Serato puts a pause at many of the track mixes; it's a Serato thing - not me. Note also that there were a couple of stops for announcements; you'll hear these as fades to silence for a bit of time.)

Analysis says: I made a handful of outright mistakes (e.g. hitting Stop on the wrong CDJ), plus more sloppy mixes than I'd like to admit to. :-(

I attribute this to a side-effect of the unexpected length & style of the set. I ended up spinning stuff I hadn't listened to quite enough to be comfortable with how the tune was structured, and not knowing exactly where to mix in and out. I also had a "live" crowd that I paid attention to. As usual, those dancing wanted pretty quick changes from track to track. No 7-minute tracks for them; in-and-out in 3:00-3:30. Couple these mid-track mixes with less familiarity than I'd have liked, and I get messy mixes like you hear later in this set.

I also played much more Electro House & Mainstream than I was prepared to. I'd assumed that we wouldn't have any dancers (being a conference party and all), so I had a big kit of Deep House prepared. This also pushed me into tunes I wasn't all that intimate with (though I'd bought & listened to them mildly.)

These issues would have been no big deal for a real DJ; I'm not - I'm a pretender, though I hope a reasonably good one.

Nonetheless, I had a total blast. Tweets were about 60/40 in favor (with the typical conference party complaints of too-loud being the dominant negative complaint; c'mon folks, you're at a PARTY! :-) But most Tweets were positive (and I think most didn't know I am the founder of Acquia.)

The available photos aren't great, because it was dark, with only blue lights on the stage. But here's a few from the Tweetsphere.



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