It’s been some time since the infamous Dirty Disco has passed and now it’s time to reflect on this treasured memory. I should state that I am only going to cover the Trance section, plus a few other aspects of the event. I do not listen to the other genres of music enough to fairly criticize them in any way. With that being said, I hope you enjoy this and let’s get started.
Rawhide; the venue that housed all of us for this massive event. This was my second time at this venue and I must say I couldn’t imagine a better place for the dirtiest rave in Arizona. It is far outside the city, so you get the feeling of being in a secluded area, to be one with yourself and the music. Not only that, but it is dusty as hell, which fits perfectly with the theme of Dirty Disco. If you left with clean shoes, you had obviously done something wrong. I am still finding clumps of dirt on my wheelchair and I wasn’t even in the dance pit. To me, Rawhide will always be associated with Dirty Disco.
After getting to the venue the first task you’re faced with is dealing with the security. I arrived fairly late to the show, so I can’t say what it was like for the initial rush of people. From my experience though, it was a quick harmless search, but enough to make you feel safe. During the show, they would patrol without causing much harassment to the fans. Overall, security was a pleasure to have around.
Something that is always important when attending an event, especially a rave, is the environment. Dirty Disco nailed this one and every other event should take notes. Stepping through the gates was like entering another world, built by maniacs, governed by anarchists. Traveling through the art walk, seeing people’s creativity come to life, it truly gets you into a hedonistic mindset. Once you entered the rodeo ring, the feeling of freedom would wash over you with the force of a tsunami. The warmth from being surrounded by flames magnified the burning in your soul. This was more than a rave, this was a life changing experience.
The crowd is also a part of the environment but I never feel it’s appropriate to rate them together. The crowd for Dirty Disco is always something special, full of enthusiasm and good vibes. The dance pit was a constantly moving alliance all night long, causing a whirlwind of dust. The crowd was always responsive to the spells the DJs were casting, and it was thrilling to be a part of this. My only complaint, is that a majority of the crowd left early. This is something that consistently annoys me about AZ crowds. I find it rude towards the remaining acts. The people that stuck around until end are the true ravers, in my eyes.
Let’s get into the two main parts of any great show, the production, and musical acts. The production of this event is almost hard to put into words. First, the dust kicked up from everyone dancing mixed with the two fog machines created this unbelievable haze that was unintentional but amazing. Add the haze to the seven laser boxes that lined the horizon of the stage, and you had the illusion of being under water. You could look up at any point and the lasers dancing above you looked like waves against the haze. Next, the strobes that littered every square-foot of the stage. It was like looking at the headlights of the most beautiful alien mothership. Lights and lasers may have been amazing but the pyrotechnics is what was the real breath taker. Fire was everywhere! Fire cannons lined the top of the stage and one huge cannon behind the crowd. There was no escaping the wrath of the fire, it was glorious! All of this greatness under the famous giant disco ball, a must for any respectable disco party. Dirty Disco’s stage production just set the bar for perfection.
Before I get started with the artists (and this also ties in with production), Timothy Heit did a fantastic job with the sound system. I can honestly say, this was the best outdoor listening experience. The sound traveled flawlessly from front to back, with unbelievable crispness. Huge props to you Mr. Heit and Hades for correcting the mistake they made in 2016.
The first Trance act to take control of the decks was Jordan Suckley. I had huge expectations for this act and boy, did he deliver. This set had everything I love about Trance in it. Hard hitting Techno inspired Trance with beautiful melodies scattered throughout it. He played many Damaged favorites with a few new remixes of classics. One notable track caught my attention and that was Richard Durand’s remix of Traffic. This track was spine chillingly good under the cool desert night. I had a smile from ear to ear. Jordan Suckley is a master when it comes to mixing and this night was no exception. The only complaint I have, is that he didn’t scratch. I don’t blame him through, he expressed to me he was tired before he went on the decks. Mr. Suckley I cannot wait to see you again.
Berg was the man who closed this amazing event. For the past week I have been trying to figure out if I liked his set or not. I think it comes down to one particular detail which made this set unattractive to me, tribal Progressive Psy. This sound has just gotten very repetitive to me. His set wasn’t bad by any means and I think this type of Psy is appropriate for newcomers to the genre. This is what Arizona needed to hopefully grow the withering Trance scene, especially Psy. For me though, I found it boring with very little surprises. This is not an attack on Berg, this is just my thoughts.
There is one last artist I would like to mention and that is Dubloadz. I rarely step out of the Trance and Techno realm, so me saying this is a rarity. God damn! Dubloadz absolutely killed it! His set was pure filth and it put a genuine smile on my face. I have one thing to say to you Dubloadz, you gained a new snobby Trance fan. I look forward to seeing you play again in the future.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that just about wraps this up. I want to thank the Hades family for putting on another fantastic Dirty Disco. I also want to thank Woody for always accompanying me to these events, without you these wouldn’t be possible. My last thank you goes to all my readers! Stay safe.
‘Till next time!
P.S. Still looking for the photographer who took the photo of Jordan Suckley and I. I really want that photo!
Photos by Tony Cottrell – http://tonycottrell.net