Boston – It’s 6 a.m., and I’ve been trying for about an hour, but I just can’t sleep.
It’s not that I’m uncomfortable; I’m in a veritable cocoon of a bunk with four—count them, four—pillows and a blanky, a sleep mask, my bottle of water, a reading light, and a TV/DVD player attached to the ceiling, in case I need entertainment right in front of my face. The bus is purring underneath me, like my 20-pound cat on even more steroids. My feet are facing front, as advised by bus veterans.
And yet, my heart is beating erratically, and I can’t help but wonder why there isn’t some kind of safety sleep-belt around me. I’m just waiting to be jolted from my bunk, to fall past a sleeping KhoMha and to crash into the Pioneer setup a couple feet away.
My world is very small, and I love it. The promoter for tonight’s show, for example, was Dave Ralph. He and I go back to the days when he was a touring DJ with Paul Oakenfold, and he was always such a pleasure to have come to town. He was even so cool as to play at one of my house parties. He tells his office manager with a wink, “Sarah knew me at my worst.”
Flash forward through the day of final tests and logistics, and Boston’s Royale Nightclub had quickly filled up, a trickle turning to a stream by 10:30 p.m., and it didn’t take long for KhoMha to fill the dancefloor.
The M Machine kept them there, even when they dropped the BPM down low.
Wait… That’s a little too low… Wait. This is silence….
“We are a band that likes to be honest with people…,” announced the group’s Ben Swardlick from the stage, with a bit of worry. “We have no idea what just happened to our sound.”
After a couple patient moments—can these “trance family” crowds be any kinder?—the sound returned. “That was scary!” offered Swardlick. “All right, we’re back with you!” Yes, even with a couple days’ worth of rehearsing, technical difficulties can ensue.
Finally, the main event. Confetti canons and cryo introduced Markus as he bounced onto stage during his intro, using “Our Moment” and “Romper” (his new production with Ferry Corsten made especially for the tour), as lyrics flashed onto the LED panels behind, aside, and in front of him.
He looked thrilled and emotional at the debut of his new, live endeavor.
There are few DJ/producers who show appreciation to their fans as much as Markus does. Every split second he has free, he communicates with the crowd in some way, and enjoys the music as much as the fans on the floor.
It was freezing in there in the beginning on this rainy Boston night, but the crowd worked up a sweat that had the spacious 1,000-capacity club starting to feel like a sauna half an hour into Markus’ performance.
Like any big event one works up to, when it finally happened, it was a whirlwind that seemed to end in a blink of an eye, and the stage was being packed up in preparation for our departure to Philadelphia, road cases and crates and boxes stacking atop spent confetti.
Now, if I could just get some sleep….