A Night With Pharmacy Records

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On Friday, March 31st, Pharmacy Records took over “The World Famous Nile Theater,” with a show featuring Synfonic, Triceradrops, and Christopher Lawrence. This was the second show I attended this year and I could not have asked for a better one. Let’s take a look back on this magnificent night. I will go over the stage production, atmosphere, crowd and of course, the acts.

If you want to see my review of the venue and security, take a look at this article.

Let’s start out with my thoughts on the stage production, because it is generally one of the first aspects you notice at a show. Rock Trance definitely tries to keep the stage production as close as they can to a true underground feeling. This is very appropriate, considering this was a Pharmacy Music takeover, the kings of “underground Trance”.

The stage was setup in a simple, yet captivating manner. Two high powered lasers placed on either side of the DJ. They were perfectly situated to illuminate the space above your head, to take you on a crazy trip through a different dimension. The lasers danced in great harmony with the unrelenting beats coming from the sound system. Flickering and bouncing from wall to wall, you were guaranteed to be continuously entertained from even just the lasers.

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Photo by Tony Cottrell

One of the most important parts of the show is the sound system, and Rock Trance delivered. This was a very bass heavy show, and with that being said you truly felt every pound from the bass. In a lot of Triceradrops tracks, he has vocal samples and they came through extremely crisp with great accuracy. Little to no white noise could be heard from where I was standing ( Front left).

I only had one little problem with the stage. I felt like it could’ve used a couple of strobes to help compliment the lasers and fog. Again, this really is not a huge issue to me because the lasers were so well done. Overall the entire stage production plus the sound gets a 9/10.

The atmosphere was unbelievably special at this show, so much so that it’s hard for me to put it into words. The crowd was small and you could tell most of them were die hard Trance fans. Everyone was meshing so well together, even the incredibly nice security crew. One thing in which made this show so amazing was seeing the headliners in the crowd enjoying the show. It was almost surreal to me to see Christopher Lawrence showing up early and interacting with the crowd. You could truly see he cared about the musicians on his label, and it made me gain even more respect for him. I would love to see and feel this every show I go to. 10/10.

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Photo by Tony Cottrell

Okay, Arizona crowd we need to have a serious talk. If you guys truly want Trance to come back to the valley, you NEED to come to these events. Not only that, but you also need to be enthusiastic and get “lit”. I literally could count the amount of people on my two hands who were dancing, it’s sad. Shoutout to the shirtless dude, backflip guy and the little girl in the black skirt. You three were killing it all night!. One last thing, STOP LEAVING THE SHOW SO EARLY! It is infuriating and it is rude in my opinion. I’m sorry Arizona but you get a 5/10, get your shit together.

Time for the reason we all attend these shows, the acts! The first of the three headliners was Synfonic. Prior to this show, I did not have much knowledge of this duo. All I knew was they gained a lot of fame from their remixes of classic Trance tracks.

The duo had a very interesting set with a good mix of classics combined with new tracks. It is always great to hear records such as “Firewire” and “Carte Blanche” even if they are remixed. I think it’s a great way to introduce newer fans to the classics that made Trance what it is today. Their mixing was on point with, little to no mistakes that I could hear. They had a great flow, which made their set feel seamless.

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Photo of Synfonic taken by Tony Cottrell

I do have one little gripe, though it is probably not that big of a deal to most. I felt they were using the microphone just a bit too much. I rather have you tell me a story through your music instead of telling me you are about to play a new track. Other than that, Synfonic was a great act and entertaining from start to finish. Synfonic gets a nice 7/10 from me, and I hope to see them back in the valley again.

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Triceradrops and I

The whole reason I was so excited for this show was Triceradrops and boy, did he deliver. Triceradrops has been on continuous repeat for me for the last six months. His take on Psytrance is something I find unique. It is dark, ghoulish, and from the depths of Hell.

Triceradrops started out with a banging unreleased track, clocking in at 145 beats per minute. This set the stage for one of the craziest sets I have heard. With each pound of the bass, I felt my soul being pulled from my body. With the signaling from his hand motions, you could tell he was trying to raise the dead from down under. It felt as if he was becoming one with his music and was pulling us in. Definitely one of the most surreal sets I have ever witnessed.

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Photo of Triceradrops taken by Tony Cottrell

Now, I must talk about the last track he played because it was a perfect way to wrap up the story he was trying to convey. It was an unreleased remix of Freedom Fighters & Ivort’s track “Creature from the Lost World”. The continuously repeated vocal sample that is used in the track sums exactly what the entire set felt like. His set was a ritual to summon a “Creature from a lost world”. This wasn’t just a DJ set, it was a tale of horror and suffering. For that, I give Triceradrops a 10/10! I cannot wait until the next time I get to be taken on another thrilling journey such as this one.

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CL and I

Now, for the main man of the show, the legendary Christopher Lawrence. This was my first time seeing Lawrence and I had some pretty huge expectations because of all the praise he receives. Let me tell you, he blew my expectations out of the water. I was thoroughly impressed from start to finish.

He started with a banger of a track that instantly had the crowd moving. He played his signature “underground Trance,” which is a mix between Psy and Tech. This style captures the true essence of what Trance is and it was quite a treat to witness it live.

During his set the power cut-out twice which was a shame, to say the least. Christopher Lawrence, being the veteran DJ that he is, recovered beautifully both times. I am almost certain most people didn’t catch the first outage. He would pick up from where he left off with a smile on his face and made sure to keep the energy high.

I would like to talk about one thing I touched on early, and that is how interactive and caring Christopher Lawrence is. It was neat to see him in the crowd with everyone cheering on the DJ / Producers who are part of his label. I saw him taking so many videos and pictures with the crowd. For someone who has been around as long as him, you would think he would be somewhat sick of all that, but he truly cares. You could also tell that he has a special relation with each one of his artists. If you read this Mr. Lawrence, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Overall, Christopher Lawrence gets a solid 10/10 from me.

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Photo of Christopher Lawrence taken by Tony Cottrell

The Pharmacy Records takeover will definitely have a special place in my heart. I hope that one day Arizona will become a Trance state, so I can share these experiences with more people. I want to thank Hades and Rock Trance for putting this together and inviting me. I want to thank Pharmacy Records for staying true to the Trance sound. A huge shoutout to Tony Cottrell for doing amazing photography work. Like always, I want to give huge thanks to Woody for making it possible for me to attend these shows. See you all at the next one!

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