What had taken place inside The Guvernment on February 9th was what you might call a textbook example of a successful “Big DJ” event. Everything I had anticipated to see and hear happened, and even though the experience was probably everything a house connoisseur would find very bubble-gum and mickey-mouse, it was very refreshing to hear a EDM veteran stay consistent and bring a smile to my face similar to the ones he’s brought me in the past.
I showed up a bit past midnight, walking in on media list I wasn’t very surprised to find that tickets were $50 at the door. The line was decently stretched out and moving quickly, which translates to everyone also anticipating and not hesitating to pay the high priced ticket to see a childhood EDM hero. Upon entering main doors, you could easily distinguish Manzone & Strong behind the decks handpicking some light techno favourites to keep the atmosphere socialite. Making my rounds saying my hellos and happy birthdays, I noticed the crowd was filled with “party-goers” as one would expect. A lot of people dressing up for the occasion like they have someone to impress, you can easily tell the Benassi crowd isn’t particularly part of the rave crowd.
The lights and music dimmed promptly at 1:30am, right before the crowd exploded into screams and chanting Benassi’s name. It was a dramatic intro to his set, rolling synths and a massive build up for minutes until Benny was fully elevated on the DJ platform ready to bring the noise. Even then, the first few bombs were very well played out and modern, Benny keeping it classy. This is what separates the puppies from the trend setters, Benny stays true to the DJ set as a story, not just an opportunity to pummel the crowd with massive drops for 2 hours. Adapting to the Guvs atmosphere I was also pleased to hear a lack of “festival house” that is noisier (which is a popular sound for Benny) and bears a very prominent (and rather annoying) hi snare and clap which makes this style very distinct but somewhat inappropriate for this setting. For the most part, we heard a lot of deep saw-tooth synth leads and beats that make you dance rather than put your hands up in the air that all added to Benny experience.
At this point, I couldn’t help but chuckle in assurance every time I heard Benny start the next track in the mix. What people keep forgetting is that Benny is older than most players in the game, and that he has established his style of mixing earlier on in his career in the late 80’s. He has a very old-school approach to DJing which some might even say is very “cut-and-paste”, but it only makes sense. It’s a reflection of his influences around the time of his debut and the Reggio Emilia house scene in the Benassi Bros. days. So even after all these years I was extremely content to hear his aggressive style hasn’t at all changed, which is the classic Benny that we’ve always known and ultimately expected to hear.
His transitions are flawless, or as my friend Jay would say “SOOO ITALIAN”. What he means by this is of course, is the guaranteed 1.5 min excerpt of melodious euro-dance piano and tacky vocals in every single transition. Literally every song in his set had some sort of instrumental/lyrical break, having the beat stop every 5 minutes before building it up again. But what’s a Benny Benassi set without a little taste of Italian euro-cheese? I thought it was hilarious, it would have been disappointing if we didn’t hear any! It was a night for Italians after all, give the people what they’re used to!
In regards to the track selection as a whole, it was tasteful and diverse complying within Bennys sound. We heard the tracks we were all waiting for, and probably the biggest finale anyone’s ever seen, Satisfaction played out over 3 remixes, using the dry ice cannon and confetti drop for the last 10 minutes.
It was an awesome 2 hours for me. First mingling among friends and hearing Benny Benassi classic with a contemporary twist rip it for an hour and a half. I decided not to stick around and listen for Mark Oliver because I didn’t want that sweet aftertaste of Italian house excellence to leave my head. Returning to my friends apartment, with my ears ringing I couldn’t have been happier as I sat down in sheer satisfaction. Until next time Benny.
Sabino Furlone – EDM TOR