Brought up rather a lot of late, including Deadmau5 in regards to button pusher DJ’s etc. Should DJ’s be more creative with their sets? Should they preform live? Or play pre-recorded sets? Many people are fighting about this, and here are my thoughts.
DJ’s have a lot of people to please many gigs to attend and a tour schedule that not many can accommodate . So how should they perform?
In my opinion for DJ’s to fill all tour dates pencilled in there has to be some compromise. Not every DJ can play live all the time. Why? well take a look at many DJ’s dates the answer is clear for all to see. There is not enough time to plan out each set between dates. A 2 hour set can take hours if, not days to plan for a live performance. They have to find the tracks they would like to use, which in itself can be a tough target, scan through hundreds of promo’s, list them down, check if they work together, get to grips with the equipment supplied, travel to the destination, get settled in. Then get a feel for the club and the people within it.
Only when the above is done, and plenty more I’m sure, as I’ve only covered the basics, can they play. Live DJ’s play off the crowd, they constantly read the crowd and answer the following questions. How are the crowd feeling now? Which tracks are working well? Are they hyped enough? Do they need more bassline? Do they need an uplifting tune? Should I play something harder? That track went down well which track should follow? And many more. That in itself is a tough job you can’t please everyone, and even when you think a set works and sounds acceptable to you, you can’t always guarantee the crowd will feel that way.
So that is live, imagine having to do that every night, for months if not years on end. It will have its downsides, especially in the health department, it will tire even the most prestigious DJ. It’s a monumental challenge. Add to that jet lag, miles of travel every day from one country to the next, with only an hour or two to spare in-between arriving at the hotel, to shower, change and eat, yes some DJ’s arrive 24 hours before, but not all do. Then the emotional side of things, our DJ’s are human too, they miss being away from their homes and families.
Now and again, many DJ’s can not cope with that onslaught. So to make things a little easier, if they are not feeling at their best, they will pre record a set and play it at a show. In my opinion, this doesn’t always work, but at the same time, if the crowd are enjoying the show who cares? They have left happy and have enjoyed what was on offer. They danced, they smiled, they had a terrific time.
Clubbers do not come to a club to analyze a DJ set, most of them have no clue or care for how the music has been created or mixed, they only care for the tracks played, and enjoyment of it all. It is only the part timer DJ’s that care, the ones who stand in a club and analyse every move the DJ in the booth is making. Then after a shit night of analyzing , they then go home and share their mindless opinions of the night and how a certain DJ preformed. Key Board Warriors, those who have nothing better to do with their time, than to drag down others, mostly because they feel they are better than everybody else or simply because they are jealous.
Now, reading a crowd is massively important I agree, only when you follow the flow of the crowd can you create the best sets that the crowd can genuinely become engrossed in. The crowd trusts that you will follow their emotions, and show them the way forward. That is exactly what our clubbers want, they put their trust in you, and in return you put your trust in them, the clubbers guide you, and you guide them. Like a hand in a glove, it works, and we all love it.
But, you must also trust that your much-loved DJ is not out to play a pre recorded set to fail you, but merely to make sure they can give you exactly what you came for. And yes sometimes it works and everyone is happy, and sometimes it doesn’t, we all live and we learn. But we should also respect ,and most importantly remember that our DJ’s are human too. Stop giving them such a hard time.