John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia share the bill in NYC
Rarely do the stars align this well. When two of the biggest DJs on the planet share headline billing at an outdoor party being staged on an island just off the coast of New York City’s Manhattan Island, on a mild Saturday afternoon deep into the northern summer, to some extent, it is what wet electronic music dreams are made of.
Waking up and realising that it is not a dream however, but that you’re actually getting the chance to attend – and review the gig – is not only pinch-worthy, but truly humbling, especially on your first day in New York. Quite a welcome party, hey?
The two names barely need an introduction: John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia. Absolute monsters in their own right, their contribution to electronic dance music over the past two decades cannot be understated. Supported on this NYC Saturday afternoon by Pleasurekraft and locals Sleepy and Boo, and put together by Made Events – the same crew behind the Electric Zoo festival – for a fan of EDM, it oozed potential.
Catching a ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan was pain free. Security was tight, friendly, and swift in getting its job done. The excitement as a boat load of partygoers ferried across was palpable; the pulsing beats pumping louder as we sailed closer. With the Manhattan skyline behind us and the Statue of Liberty to our immediate right, it was a moment to cherish.
Arriving on solid ground and a few things became immediately apparent. Sleepy and Boo had got things started in style, and while this was my first experience with Pleasurekraft, their dishing out of a sound that touched on electro at times, and driving prog at others, laid down a solid foundation for the big names to work from. What was even more apparent was the quality of the production of this party.
The folk at Made Events had left little to chance. Speakers lined the shore and the sound was as perfect as I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in an outdoor setting. The light show and visuals behind the decks was equally impressive, and with lighting features dotting the shore line, and little had been left to chance. And with a setting sun, the Manhattan skyline and the lit up Brooklyn Bridge as a backdrop, this was pretty special. Bar lines moved swiftly and given more than three thousand people had come to party, that was no mean feat. All that was left was for the headliners to come on and do their thing.
Digweed and Tenaglia were each given two hours to show us their wares – although they would alternate, playing one hour each, over a four hour block. While this surprised me at first, especially given that each of them could play for hours and hours on end, it would nevertheless culminate in a musical experience not to be forgotten.