Phoenix, Ariz. – Desert dance-music fans got an early holiday treat this past weekend, as Anjunadeep’s North American tour wrapped up in their backyard. Indeed, the tour, which included label artists Luttrell, Joseph Ashworth and 16 Bit Lolitas, played to an enthusiastic house Dec. 16 at downtown Phoenix’s cozy Monarch Theater.
Anjunadeep – the groove-leaning sublabel of Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats imprint – drew plenty of A&B die-hards, some donning Group Therapy 250 commemorative T-shirts (from the trio’s event at The Gorge in Washington this past September), and others simply displaying the Anjuna logo on their cheeks with glitter stickers. Arizona’s A&B lovers were in full force.
Opening DJ Joseph Ashworth got the early crowd going with a strategic progression of energy – start slow, but get the still-arriving clubbers moving. He really hooked the room with his warm groover “Radio Silence” (feat. Piper Davis), then dropped Dusky’s trippy “Mr. Man” and transitioned beautifully into Luttrell’s set with the gorgeous and epic “Aba” by Lane 8 & Kidnap Kid.
The mustachioed Luttrell then took over the intimate stage in his hallmark beanie, quickly riling up the crowd with several of his well-crafted, energetic tracks. They included “Daylight,” “Wake Me Up Tomorrow,” “Contact” and his top tune “Need You” (reviewed in DJ Times’ March 2017 issue). Grooves aplenty, hips-swaying to the luscious, rich beats.
Ariaan Olieroock—one half of beloved deep duo 16 Bit Lolitas—put a cap on this desert party with a slightly tougher, tech-house set, definitely bringing the heat. The highlight/delight of his set? The 16 Bit Lolitas remix of L. Doblado’s “Lie Alone.” Just like heaven…