The time was 1:30am. Knife Party had just wrapped up their set, and a majority of Resolution attendees had made their way to the mainstage in anticipation of the marquee event, Above & Beyond. 1:35 rolled around, and still the trance trio had yet to make an appearance. A crowd that knew full well Above & Beyond were traveling from Denver began to suspect a possible delay. And then came that fateful Twitter post.
Due to fog we have not been able to land in Seattle. We're doing everything we can to try to make the show but the odds are against us 🙁
— Above & Beyond (@aboveandbeyond) January 1, 2014
Up to the stage hopped Seattle locals Johnny Monsoon and Darrius, and we had ourselves a whole new night. From there we all know the story: We were treated to 90 minutes of our locals throwing down and were rescued from an experience ticketed for disappointment. But what happened behind the scenes of that fateful night? Well we here at Dance Music Northwest were wondering the very same thing.
“I was walking toward the backstage area to grab another drink while Knife Party was playing when I saw the stage manager running over to me at full speed. He yells out “You gotta get on stage NOW cuz we don’t know if Above & Beyond is gonna make it!” It took a sec to realize what he was saying so I figured I’d ask how much time I had and his response was “8 minutes……..c’mon we gotta go!!!” I didn’t have any headphones and thankfully he happened to have a pair on him. I jumped into the booth as Knife Party’s last track was finishing and it was time to get to work.” –Johnny Monsoon
Imagine in your minds eye the sheer panic for a promoter when your headliner informs you they won’t be making it. Now imagine being one of the two DJs asked to fill in for the act that tempted many people to buy tickets in the first place. Johnny Monsoon had just arrived from Foundation Nightclub after opening for Adrian Lux, while Darrius was “backstage working hospitality when (he) was called into a ‘Situation Room’ type scenario.” The USC Events’ owners, production manager, and venue manager put their heads together to figure out a tenable solution. Naturally, they called on two local heroes to save the day.
Armed with nothing but flash drives they fortuitously had stashed on their respective persons, the Seattle duo dove in with big room and progressive to smooth the transition from Knife Party.
“I just felt that we should keep the energy high and keep the people on the dance floor. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely played a few progressive-trancey type tracks, but for the most part we stuck to the higher energy progressive house.” –Darrius
We all know that USC was in constant communication with Above & Beyond throughout the night. But behind the curtain creative solutions were in the works, including (but not limited to) “the thought that they would extend the show to 3:30am if they could get Above & Beyond’s flight to land and speed them from the airport to WaMu.” But alas it was not to be. Johnny and Darrius were given the rest of the night, as the music got deeper and a grateful audience crowded the dance floor.
While some headed for the exits, many stayed to support their locals as they grooved through the final hour of the set to a healthy blend of progressive and trance. But as we were enjoying ourselves down on the floor, you can bet there were some nerves to overcome behind the decks for both Johnny…
“It was definitely the most surreal moment of my career so far. I don’t think I’ve ever played a set where I’ve felt so many different emotions”
“There was definitely a moment of frantic panic, but it was in sheer excitement of what was about to take place.”
It’s easy as fans to forget that situations like this are just as tumultuous (if not more so) for the people behind the scenes and on stage. That said, the outpouring of affection from the Seattle scene has been overwhelming in the ensuing days. A city that has nothing but love for the music it worships, while disappointed, still recognized that Darrius and Johnny rescued Resolution from the brink.
For those of us wondering if our praise has been heard, know that the love being sent their way has been absolutely received and reciprocated. And because we honestly couldn’t say it better ourselves, we’ll leave you with a few words of thanks from the two DJs who gave us a reason to dance in the face of bad news.
When I first stepped up in the DJ booth and looked out into the crowd and saw 30-40 Above & Beyond posters being held high, I knew this was going to be one of the most challenging sets of my career. All I can honestly say is that it meant the absolute world to see how many people stayed and rocked out with us til the lights came on.
And while I know so many of you (including myself and Darrius) were crushed that Above & Beyond couldn’t make it, I do want you to know that your energy in that crowd provided an experience that I won’t ever forget. See you soon!
I just want to thank everyone that stayed and got to share this disappointing but joyous time with us. We felt exactly what you guys were feeling. Thank you for constantly believing in us and supporting everything we do. It’s because of the fans that we are even able to grace a stage such as Resolution in place of such a prestigious, legendary act as Above & Beyond. I love you!
Read our full writeup of Resolution here!
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