Tommy Trash: The 5 most amazing places to DJ in the world
As he prepares to return home from his new base in Los Angeles to play Stereosonic, Pacha Sydney’s first birthday and speak at EMC, we got globe-trotter Tommy to tell us the five most amazing places in the world that he’s ever played.*
“These are my top five places to play. For me it is about the people more than the place, but these are awesome settings where I love to play. In no particular order, they are…”
#5 New City Gas – Montreal / Echostage – Washington DC
“I know it’s cheating to put two here but I just can’t pick between them and they’re very similar. Don’t take that as a bad thing. They’re both next level. They’ve both been open for around two years now and are pretty much the perfect environment for people to have a serious rave. They’re both old warehouses/industrial spaces or some shit but are done really nicely, so you get the atmosphere of a 90s rave but the sound is fucking killer. As a DJ it’s great to have a really good amount of General Admission right in front of you to really get the energy from. They’re both perfect for that.
“As for the fans, both cities have a really strong history of supporting dance music so the crowds are great and you can guarantee that it will be packed and buzzing all night long. I’ll get shit from the underground for the comparison but I don’t give a fuck – these places are the commercial dance equivalents of what Berghain in Berlin is for that scene. I played earlier in October at Echostage for the first time and am going back to New City Gas for my second show in December in the run up to NYE, can’t wait!”
#4 El Paso, Texas
“What can I say, El Paso. So unlikely but totally undeniable. Every time I go there to play I’m blown away. It’s all about the energy the people bring, as clichéd as that sounds. There must be something in the water or in the air… I’ve never experienced anything quite like it as a DJ. From the start to finish of my set, front to the back of the crowd, they just all go for it like nowhere else.
“Last month I was there for Halloween night with Wolfgang Gartner on the Hounds of Hell Tour of North America and it was insane, definitely the highlight of the tour as I always knew it would be. My fans there are awesome too. They are some of the most active on social media and I love it. Pure fun, and a real pleasure as a DJ.”
#3 The Arches – Glasgow
“I’ve played here once only sadly but I’m not going to forget that night for a while. As the name suggests, the club is in a series of archways and that really affects the atmosphere in there. It’s dark, industrial and grimy but oh so much fun. As a club they support a really broad range of music, from the commercial to the obscure, which is great. They’ve been going for more than 20 years I think so it’s a real institution in the UK. The promoters there are fucking awesome and the Scottish crowds are there to lose their minds so some pretty wild shit goes down. That’s exactly what I want. I’m planning to go back there in 2014 for a second dose.”
#2 Stereosonic & Pacha – Sydney
“There’s no place like home… Though I’m not actually from Sydney, I did spend formative years there before moving to the US. It’s where I really fell in love with dance music and it feels like home. Going back now is always really special, in no small part because the shows are always fucking incredible. First up would be Stereosonic. It’s fucking epic. Last year was probably one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever played for and stepping out on the main stage in Sydney was crazy. Without a doubt a career highlight so far. This year is going to be insane. I have to include what I consider to be the best club in Australia – Pacha. I can’t wait to be back there headlining on their first birthday on November 30!”
#1 Tomorrowland – Belgium
“The place needs little introduction. Everyone from the fans to the DJs rate it as one of the best, if not the best, festival in the world. The organisers have done an amazing job at creating an environment there that really captures everyone’s imagination. It is staggering and a lot of fun to play at. It’s all about the mood of the crowd there. Everyone is just so damn happy to be there, it feels like a very special moment. Cheesy, I know, but if you’ve been, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
“I played this year for the second time and I played at the Super Me Super You stage. Despite losing my bag on the flight over to the show, which had my Nacho Libre superhero costume in it, I didn’t let that get me down. The highlight of the set was getting the entire crowd to sit down for the last drop in Reload, at which point things went totally insane.”