Morgan Page Stereo Live August 31, 2012
Morgan Page may not be the world's most famous DJ, but that doesn't mean he isn't a name within the community. The loudest cheer all Friday night happened when he stepped on the stage to start setting up his gear. He hadn't played a note of music and the crowd was already roaring in appreciation.
Whether they were there for a journey or just looking for a rowdy start to the holiday weekend, they were ready to get going.
And when the first thing they heard from the speakers was a female voice singing "Giddy up and go," they knew they were going to get exactly what they wanted.
You can't really know a DJ until you've seen them in person. You might be able to listen to their records or work out to their podcasts, but it isn't until you see them in the context of having to read a crowd that you can get a handle on whether or not they're any good.
One of the things that didn't make it in to the final version of the interview Page did with Rocks Off was his response to a question I asked about if and when he knew that he had learned to read a crowd. He gave me a detailed response, but the short version was that he didn't know if he had mastered that skill yet and that his goal is to get better every year.
Judging by the way to the crowd responded to the peaks and valleys of his set you'd be inclined to say that Page has the skill down, which leads me to think that one of two things are true: a) Page and the crowd were more in sync than normal or b) he's humble when being interviewed.
Some underwhelming champagne showers aside, Page was on point for the set, the crowd responding best to the remixes of his original tracks like "The Longest Road". Falling in love with an EDM song that's been out for a few years can be weird; by the time you see the DJ live there's a good chance he's stopped playing the original version of the track.
One of the things I've noticed over the last few months is that a lot of DJs out there have forgotten silence is a part of music. Their sets, while decent to good, are one long waveform that may vary from loud to less loud but they never just stop.
The most refreshing thing about Morgan Page is that he's not afraid to let a song build to a moment of silence, even if it's just for a moment. Those pauses are just another stop on the overall journey of the set, different from the confetti bursts and CO2 blasts but part of the overall experience.
While Page delivered, there was a bit of an issue with the sound. Things get loud real quick in Stereo Live and even with earplugs in the sound would occasionally sound distorted as if the highs were getting smashed into oblivion. It did make it hard to understand what Page was saying when he picked up the microphone to address the crowd.
Any sound issues present didn't hurt the energy of the crowd. Page told me that a crowd votes with their feet. If they like what you're doing they'll dance and if they don't you'll end up with a sea of crossed arms and bobbed heads.
If the question is, "Does Morgan Page put on a good show?", then Friday night's crowd voted yes.
Personal Bias: When I started to get in to this EDM thing "The Longest Road" was the first song I added to my "DanceMusic" playlist in Spotify.
The Crowd: College kids at the start of a long weekend, some older types who looked like they would have been more at home at the rodeo, and a bunch of guys who appeared to be allergic to wearing shirts.
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Overheard In The Crowd: "Was there a cup of water in this seat?" asked the man implying that I don't know anything about seat etiquette. There wasn't a cup of water and I am not a chair thief, thank you very much.
Random Notebook Dump: Given the multiple times they blasted it during the show I find myself asking the following: What was Friday night's confetti budget?