January 14, 2013 by DJ Elroy
“The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate.”
– O Henry, “The Green Door”
Back in my vinyl days there was a debate about whether or not to pre-plan a DJ set, but it seems like more and more nowadays it’s normal and even expected that live shows are mapped out down to the last kick.
I was always against this. Not only is it boring for the guy in the DJ booth, it also takes away from something on the dancefloor. Sure, the people won’t know what you have planned one way or the other, but the set won’t have the same sense of risk or adventure that it would being mixed on the fly. You may not be able to name what it is that’s missing from the show, but you’ll feel it. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to mixing by the seat of your pants and playing off the crowd, a felling that’s missing from so many performances today.
Sure, touring DJs had to keep the same crate of records for multiple shows and they sometimes became routine, but there were still enough tracks to change up the show from place to place.
But that’s not really an excuse most of today’s globe-trotters can use…
I’m not saying that the new digital technology is all bad, but one thing I do miss is the sense of adventure, the challenge of walking into a club and not knowing where the music will take me.