Hi! Hi! Aloha!
As EDM events seem to return to normalcy post-pandemic, I was wondering if the rave scene in Texas will regain the luster that I remember seeing when I first moved to the Lone Star State in 2011. Trance became my first love in dance music since watching Darude’s “Feel the Beat” music video at my uncle’s house one Thanksgiving night back around Y2K, and later hearing the Riva Remix of “Rapture” by Iio and “Nothing But You” by Paul van Dyk a couple of years later on South Florida’s Pure Dance Channel, Party 93.1 FM. Over the last 23 years raving, 17 of those years performing as a DJ, I’ve become very versatile mixing many genres and styles like house, breakbeat, drum & bass, and happy hardcore, but the definitive genre that has remained a constant in my raving life is trance. Any moment near me that trance is being showcased, I will absolutely celebrate with all my PLUR. As I was once worried that trance would be overshadowed by bills of goods and ‘ravesploitation’ in favor of loose and fast cash, I would see a series of trance announcements for the next three months across many Texas cities. These announcements would make me and so many ravers put a lot of real money in the scene and bring real money to the spirit. Trance is making a massive comeback and my adventure in trance began this fall at Stereo Live in Houston with Andy Moor & JES.
After spending many hours traveling across many cities by plane and automobile in my career, the 3-hour journey from San Antonio to Houston was an easy enough drive. Out of all the metros, I’ve always considered Dallas to be the best city for raving, but I love traveling to Houston because of its easy commute. I usually go to Houston for anime and hard dance events like the time I performed a hardcore set at one of The Dive’s final nights (exactly one year ago today) or when I hurried back from Florida to suddenly play Waifufest, but this was the first time I’ve set foot in Houston’s Stereo Live. The atmosphere at Stereo Live reminds me of the late Club Rio in San Antonio, which once upon a time would feature many trance headliners before their closure. I have been busy performing, promoting, and show-running many events across the country in the last few years that I have not had the chance to enjoy the show as a fan; however at Stereo Live’s October 6th trance event, I felt fully invested and nostalgic in the way that I could suspend my identity as the ‘RAVEmaker’ and really enjoy the show as a ‘RAVElover’ like all the times I would see my favorite DJs at Club Rio. I am still holding onto the hope that San Antonio will be a city that welcomes trance again and I will continue to work really hard to manifest that reality; in the meantime, I will continue to support trance in Texas whether it’d be in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, or any hidden paradise in between the metros.
The last time I saw JES live was actually not that long ago as she was in San Antonio three months ago in July, headlining the Alamo City’s anime massive, San AnTokyo 5. San AnTokyo was essentially the major highlight of my career and I’ve probably made it less of a secret that I am a huge fan of JES ever since I first heard her as part of Motorcycle on the Party 93.1 radio station. As if it wasn’t already enough that there was going to be trance in Houston, finding out that Stereo Live was featuring the idol that I co-headlined with at an anime rave three months ago ensured that I would attend. Considering that San AnTokyo is one of the best raves that I worked, I had an incredibly great time last night at Stereo Live seeing JES perform, and I was incredibly full of joy witnessing that many others around me are also having a great time. The difference between San AnTokyo and last night’s show at Stereo Live was that I was able to enjoy the event as a fan whereas I was mercilessly working San AnTokyo as a performer and producer. One of the traits I’ve been valuing is being a consummate professional in the work I do like producing San AnTokyo and other HakubiVerse raves; however last night, I would unapologetically mark out seeing JES perform live like I was a junior-high school girl at a Taylor Swift concert, especially when JES played Ben Gold’s remix of “From This Day On” by Andrew Rayel & JES, and I believe she made sure I knew she knew that was my favorite song by her. I believe what makes JES such a high caliber of a person is that she is absolutely genuine. As I mentioned that I tend to be a consummate professional, I find sometimes I forget to be human. JES would continue to have fun and celebrate the moments with an incredible smile while working hard as the professional she exemplifies, as I have witnessed again at last night’s show watching Andy Moor close the night.
Last night’s Stereo Live trance event would also mark a first for me as this would be the first time I would see Andy Moor perform live; his set was an absolute bonus of a main event. I first heard Andy Moor when I heard his hit collaboration with Ashley Wallbridge and Meighan Nealon, “Faces” on another radio show that inspired my love for dance music, Patrick Pfeffer’s “On The Edge with Totally Patrick” on Island 106 in Panama City, Florida. As I am already on a high of inspiration, which I imagine would turn into post-rave euphoria and insight, Andy’s set has sparked the musical cylinders in my head inspiring new concepts, ideas, and dreams to overcome my mental and emotional blocks in producing music. A challenge I have been dealing with for a long time was to consistently create music; however, I’ve been stuck worrying about all the other things, I was forgetting to create music. I have discussed this dilemma multiple times among friends and across social media why I wanted to retire from producing and promoting events. I would not call my efforts in event promotion a distraction as it was giving me the muscles I needed to deal with the music industry, but now I should focus more on the music aspect than the industry aspect, and with Andy’s set and JES’ and her companion Richard’s encouragement, I have the insight and notion in my heart to make music without apologies. As much as I love supporting my friends and heroes in trance music in making sure my energy and resources keeps the trance community alive, I personally needed this night to help me fall in love with dance music in the way I loved dance music before the perils of the industry and I plan to continue to attend and support more trance events to keep the vibe flourishing and to keep my mind, heart, and soul energized with these positive vibes.
Indeed I will be returning to Houston very soon as Stereo Live Houston has also announced Paul van Dyk (Friday, November 10th) and ATB (Saturday, November 18th). I will also be in Dallas next weekend as Darude is also set to play Stereo Live Dallas on Friday, October 13th; then I will be changing gears the next night at the Green Elephant with Club Kaiju’s Otaku Overload to party with Banvox, D-YAMA, NUU$HI and many of my fellow weebs at the Big D. By the way Dallas, if you are just reading this today, you can still experience the amazing night I had last night by checking out Andy Moor & JES tonight as they head their way to Stereo Live Dallas. Don’t miss out on this incredible show and make sure to check out all the other trance shows coming to Texas. Bless!