Giant Maximus – New Year’s Eve Party – [Live]

Monday, 12 January 2009

I arrive at 7:30 and Mark Lewis is on the main stage playing some trance to ease us into the night. The main stage is a giant white tent about three stories tall and its rectangular size covers the same size of about one NFL football field. Outside the tent there is a Ferris wheel and a cage where people are on display for aerial tricks on swings and hanging ribbon. There are a few carnival-style stands where you can throw a ball to win a stuffed animal or just order a larger wiener or burger. Did I mention it's almost Chicago cold and the fog rolling in and out makes the city towers that surround us almost disappear? This event was in Los Angeles, so I wore my green suit jacket and a collared shirt thinking if it were seven hours earlier I could work on my farmers tan. Boy was I wrong. The cold air made the crowd quite the most amazing part of the night. There was a mix of everything. Back on stage Mark Lewis is wearing a hat and track jacket to keep warm. If you visit his website, you can see the style he wears his hat—a bit higher than average. It’s not on the level of Deadmau5’s headgear, but still a style. Mark’s music was a fantastic start to the night as most people were in anticipation for the hour that followed him, Paul Oakenfold. Mark played trance-style music that sounded like the opening of the night. He was not trying to live up the people in the crowd and he wasn’t there to live us up, he was just there as the only DJ spinning for the first hour the doors were open.

The outdoor venue seemed to be very detached and camp-like even though it was right next to the Nokia center and the 405 freeway. We couldn’t be any farther and closer to the heart of LA. The giant white tent of the main stage really pulled in the crowd from the entrance. The bright blue lights from the Nokia center were the only thing you could see due to the fog from behind the main tent, which only pulled you closer to it. The other stages were at your immediate right and left when you entered the venue, your left was a harder house venue, and your right was a relaxing room, where Mark Farina would bring home the night.

Eight on the dot Paul Oakenfold hops on for his hour on the decks. After his hour here in Los Angeles, Paul flew out to finish the party in Las Vegas. No more than ten seconds after Paul is on stage he is dropping a high hat that triples the crowd within a minute. Paul has a legendary music background, which gives him a godfather-like presence. Since the crowd only has one hour with him, anyone at the event at that time spent the whole hour listening to his music. The hot track of the hour was definitely Eric Prydz’ “Pjanoo.” Paul played the best music for New Years Eve, including finishing his set with a classic, “Delirium’s Silence.” It’s been years since I heard it, and it seemed to me that the crowd felt the same way.

After the hour with Paul I felt I must go out and hit the other stages. The first stage I came to did not have a tent, and it was playing jungle. Compression was spinning for one of the craziest mixed crowds I had ever seen. There were people that looked like they just left a wedding, wearing suits and dresses that were made for the runway. Some people were swing dancing to the jungle music, which was something I have never seen before. I felt like I was living a mash-up in an audio vs. dance style. With more tents to see, I was off to the Destructo tent.

Paparazzi was spinning four turntables to a sparse crowd. Most of the crowd for the whole night was in the main stage. At this time Dirty South was spinning on the main stage, who coincidently was also spinning for one hour before leaving another party in San Diego. Paparazzi’s music style was fitting for that particular tent. The audio mash-up of ghetto beats and audio tracks from rap artists like Lil’ Wayne were worthy of a main stage of clubs in Los Angeles.

The next 45 minutes I spent waiting in line for the bathroom. Yes, I timed it. Rather now than when the clock struck twelve.

Moby’s music style is in the same caliber as Paul Oakenfold. He’s a legendary producer and artist and when he does a DJ set his abilities are forged into our souls through the very turntables and vinyl he chooses to present us with. I own at least three of Moby’s albums and they all have a very unique style. He was definitely what made the night, even though his set was only for two hours. When it came down to the countdown, Moby did not want to do anything else. At about 45 seconds to the end of the year Moby shut down the music, walked around the turntables and stood with everyone as we all screamed until the clock to read ten seconds. Once it did, we all counted down together and then erupted in screams and make-out sessions as Moby played the first track of 2009, “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim. It was such a legendary moment. It’s now on YouTube from some guy’s camera. Straight awesomeness. The next half hour had some serious high energy from the crowd, the music and Moby. Let me tell you, if you need someone to control the crowd, it’s Moby. He looked like Moses when he was standing on one of the speakers on stage shaking both fists in the air to the beat.

Then, right around 12:30 my body shut down, I closed my eyes and blacked out. Only for a short while, but I figured I had caught the best part of the night, and there was no reason to let the cold I just caught ruin the next week of my life. Which it did anyways.



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