Dude. Hawtin?

Man, I’ve been so caught up in JuniorFlav land that I pretty much figured I’d be off the map here for at least a few months. That would have been the case had I stuck with my original internal plan and backed out of the late nite that was Magda and Richie Hawtin at Mighty last Friday nite. You see, sleep has been alluding me for the past few weeks, and I was pretty much driven to the point of giving up on going out until I received a few encouraging words from some other father-friends. The first one told me, “Go home, take a nap and go out!!”, which was pretty convincing, but then the other one said, “Dude, take advantage now, because it’s only going to get worse from here.” That one did it. I kept my trap shut, sucked it up, met up with Cho’nuff and we headed over to Mighty.

Upon arrival, Magda had already taken the decks and was in the midst of working the crowd into a steady groove. The place was pretty full and was only getting fuller. Mighty is no Mezzanine in terms of capacity (anyone have any idea how many Mighty holds?), but the promoters that brought this duo to town didn’t seem to notice that they were no longer hosting Hawtin off of Jessie St. The notice that they sent out on Friday afternoon even said, “the remaining 300 tickets will be sold at the door.” *Remaining* 300?!? Mighty seriously looks smaller than 111 minna, and that place can’t legally hold more than 600 or so. Remaining my ass. What gives?

Anyways, I did enjoy Magda’s set, but realistically we more or less spent the entirety of her set having a few drinks, catching up with friends and getting settled in for the evening. And then around 1:15AM the entire landscape of the nite changed. Hawtin grabbed the helm and immediately brought things up and up and up until there was a crushing frenzy within the beyond capacity crowd. It was hot, it was loud, it was bangin’ and everyone was going bonkers. About an hour in I realized that Hawtin had spent the previous 60 minutes working some crazy voodoo techno majik and had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand. We had gone from bang zoom to deep journey and no one even noticed the transition. All they knew was that they were on a ride that they couldn’t easily eject from.

Richie kept this pace up until roughly 3AM, at which time he quickly pulled the bus over and let all those who couldn’t hang get off. I couldn’t believe it, although I had experienced the same thing two times before when we saw him at Mezzanine… an hour after the booze runs out so does the energy of 1/2 the crowd, so they all bail, yet the show goes on. All of a sudden, we were left with a club that was at capacity, but still full of people who had no where else they would have rather been. What ensued from there is pretty much indescribable. What I thought was deep from the 2nd third of the set turned out to be not so much, and what I thought was banging from the 1st third paled in comparison.

Hawtin sucked us in, slapped us around, spit us out, and just before letting us get away, did it all again… over and over and over during the last hour of his set. And then for the last 15 minutes, he just toyed with us… taking it down, and then bringing back the bass. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP… and then down again and then… THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. I have never in my life been in such awe of a live music experience, and up until now I was pretty sure I had had my fill of bone chilling, life changing musical adventures. Apparently this is/was not the case. All I really have to say to that is, “SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!” Just knowing that I can still have a nite like last Friday really helps me keep the faith in terms of new music. And whenever I fall back into thinking that the world is destined to become full of a bunch of noisy shit, I’ll just harken back to that nite and rememeber that somewhere out there, things are aiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Oh, and if you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and go experience a nite of Richie Hawtin before you kick the bucket. I’ve learned my lesson about questioning whether or not I need to be in attendance on a Hawtin nite, so if you happen to do it in San Francisco, then keep an eye out for me and Cho’nuff, ‘cuz we’ll definitely be there.

And mucho thanks to Cho’nuff for pushing me in this direction musically, because if you hadn’t, I would have never known what I was missing. Foeweel.