On Wednesday night this week I was in attendance at Stages Nightclub in Kingston Ontario Canada to see Dannic, Dyro and Hardwell play. As a massive fan of all three producers and DJ’s and house music in general, I hold the genre close to my heart. But sadly what I saw was not a showcase of talent, but what an image of what the scene could be becoming. It is no longer this new exciting thing that inspired me from the moment I heard it, but more or less a cocky group of producers, DJs and managers that were simply in Kingston to spread their music and get paid thousands of dollars for a few hours work.
Firstly, producers/DJs have the dream job, just like any musician they get paid to play music. They are professionals and I am more than happy to pay to see my favourites! In my time I’ve seen over 40 DJs including everyone from Avicii and Afrojack to Tommy Trash, Eric Prydz and many more. I’ve enjoyed many shows and festivals and will always love the sounds these guys produce and the talent many of them have on the decks. I also don’t think it’s completely unjustified to pay them the money they make either. As I said, they are professionals and have to make a living.
On Wednesday the show was sold out and the venue Stages was at capacity. The crowd was ready and excited for this pretty talented line-up. Dannic to put it simply, killed it. His set was virtually flawless and he got the crowd pumped for the ‘#6 DJ/Producer in the world’, Hardwell. When he came down he was accompanied by his seemingly massive entourage who filled the tiny booth. At one point the booth was so full even the manager for Hardwell knocked one of the CDJs briefly stopping the music at the beginning of Hardwell’s set. This didn’t phase the crowd who continued ‘jamming’ to his music. Overall Hardwell’s set was actually pretty good, but I had the feeling the whole time that It could have been better. The entourage in the booth was super distracting, coming in and out multiple times, hugging Hardwell and talking to him while he was playing. The weirdest part of the show was when one of the managers/entourage threw his jacket down in the booth and the music stopped completely. I’ve been in that booth many times and I know that the jacket that the manager threw down or picked up moved the power-bar on the floor stopping the flow of power to the CDJ (another reason why there was too many people in the booth).
But here is where the problem really starts, the booze. While I’m not opposed at all to drinking while playing, there is a limit and degree of professionalism that should be maintained when you’re getting paid thousands of dollars to play. In the booth there seemed to be trays of drinks, not to mention to the two bottles of ‘Grey Goose’. While only Hardwell/Dyro will know how drunk they personally were, when they both made major beat matching and mixing mistakes it becomes a little more evident. But as I said above, overall Hardwell’s set was pretty solid and I have nothing against party or drinking, I just believe in limits and control.
Hardwell got off at around 140-145am. I don’t remember the exact time, but I know for sure he didn’t play his full 12-2am set. Hardwell introduced Dyro and the closing act got on with a massive crowd still jamming and in a solid mood. Dyro’s set wasn’t too bad at all, in fact it is pretty evident that he is an absolutely unreal producer. His song “Top of the World” with Ansol is sweet, not to mention his remix of “Deal Breaker” by Loopers. Despite the events of the night, I’d totally advise anyone to go download his stuff on Beatport and I know that some of his tunes will be in my future sets.
While the actual events of what happened at the end of Dyro’s set are still debatable by all sides, this is the most truthful story that I can construct. Before I go any farther, my sources are not just from what I saw, but from what my friends in attendance saw, some supporting Dyro’s story and other’s supporting Stages Nightclub.
At around 215am, I went up to the area behind the booth just to get a different view from where I had been standing/dancing for most of the night. The booth (with Dyro playing) was absolutely trashed. The mixers for the Grey Goose bottles were on the ground split, there was garbage everywhere and it was a massive mess. At around 245, most if not all of the crowd had either left, or was in the coat check line to leave. Stages management went over and asked Dyro to turn the volume down and finish his set. To this request the volume level did not go down, the music did not stop and Dyro continued to play. From what I know, Dyro’s manager was very drunk and didn’t take to kindly to having his client asked to stop playing. After the club’s second request for him to stop playing things started to escalate. The sound booth (on the other side of the club) lowered the master volume and to this Dyro (who from multiple reports was also heavily intoxicated) turned volume on the booth monitors up. A shouting match escalated and a number of bouncers came over. Threats were uttered from Dyro’s intoxicated manager and the situation got more intense. Stages management must have finally had enough of Dyro and his manager who were exemplifying some pretty cocky and egotistical traits. They completely shut the music down and removed them from the venue, taking them out the side door/backdoor of the club. Aside from Dyro’s story, not a single person has told me that Dyro was ‘assaulted’ or “kicked twice in the face”. Obviously when a club manager feels threatened he is going deal with the situation and insure that his patrons, employees and expensive sound equipment are safe. Clearly, Dyro and his manager had become an intoxicated threat and despite their so called ‘celebrity status’, they were causing a major problem that had to be dealt with.
There were lots of ways that this could have been avoided, booze and inflated egos can be a terrible combination. Anyone can point fingers, but as I said above, the EDM scene in changing. I don’t know if I like where it’s going, because DJs seem to have more inflated egos and all sides seem to want more money and come out looking cooler or more powerful. Did the events of Wednesday night warrant the tweet? “Me and my manager just got kicked out and I got kicked in the face twice! NEVER play this club again! @StagesNightclub Kingston, Canada”, NOT AT ALL. Everyone needs to take a step back and look at where house/EDM/dance music has come from. It was a group of producers that had major passions for the genre and were willing to do anything to spread the music they loved. From David Guetta playing in gay clubs in Paris to early producer/DJs in the wear houses of London, Chicago and Detroit as well as the massive expansion in Eastern Europe. In the end, its all about making the fans happy and giving them experiences they will never forget. With tweets that say “never play this club again” it puts the DJs interests before the fans and ruins the scene in a town with thousands of university students that love to rave, enjoy house music and are super thankful that huge international acts like Nicky Romero, Dirty South, Zedd, Max Vangeli, Dada Life, Avicii and many more have played before with not a single problem. Late Wednesday Night/early Thursday morning I left Hardwell, Dannic and Dyro’s show with a bad taste in my mouth and I’m not sure how to get rid of it.
You can download all these guys music at BEATPORT and despite this event, support these guys because they work hard at their music.