november 21, 2007
new york
sonar presents
eddie halliwell (link) (buy music »)
martin roth (link)
dj eco (link)
john o'callaghan (link)

this venue has closed
avalon (profile) (link)
47 west 20th st (directions)

sound: electro, progressive, techno, trance+
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For Thanksgiving eve, Massive put together an exciting lineup at Avalon, featuring world-class trance DJs. Fond memories from the StrobeLife NYC show we attended in December last year, where Roth performed along side DJ Eco brought us full circle. Almost a year on and at a new venue, Martin was set for round two and this time around he was joined by Eddie Halliwell, John O'Callaghan, and once again, Eco.

To our great disappointment, we couldn't get in before Eco wrapped up, but we heard that he did a great job, given his track record it's easy to believe. When we did show up, Martin Roth was already at the decks, full of energy just as the first time we saw him at Club Shelter He put on a spectacular trance showing for his second visit and played a lot of the classics after feeding a darker, minimal selection through the sound system. One of the last tracks he played was a remix of 'Beautiful Things' by Andain that resonated well with the crowd. It looked like he's won over some new fans since his last stop in NY. Roth may not be as well known here as some of the other trance artists from Europe, but that's not at all a relfection on his work. The man knows what he does and does it very well. He's pumped at every gig he does, moving around like mad, making him almost impossible to catch on camera looking like anything other than a blur.

Eddie Halliwell came on fashionably late, but clearly ready to test himself and the crowd. He started out strong and got into his element after the gremlins were chased out of the speakers. His track selection was less familiar, which made for an interesting set. He proved versatile, showing off his skratching skills and did a great job of making it complement the music. People were stoked to see the show, many of them were clearly caught off guard by this element of his performance. We got another annoying reminder of the fun we have to give up to cover these gigs. Even though we couldn't hit the dancefloor for long, our presence was completely unnecessary. The crowd was perfect and filled out the space very well. Like Martin before him, Eddie went out with a couple of reliable bangers. A JOC production, 'Big Sky,' easily got the crowd singing along. His set was incredible - full of unbridled trance energy! It could have definitely gone longer, but a taste was welcome.

John O'Callaghan was a natural choice, given the musical theme of the night. O'Callaghan was on, moving from one driving record to the next. It's always refreshing to see the talent having as much fun in the booth as the revelers on the dancefloor. He worked the crowd and set the musical course to it's final destination.

Then there's Avalon, which at least for the night, was much better than we anticipated. Perhaps we're just suckers for laser lights, but the 18+ crowd that we expected to be exceedingly immature was actually well-behaved. A fear of heights or some good planning allowed the DJ booth to be situated on stage instead of the suspended fortress that the cathedral club uses otherwise. When we were heading out at 4 am, the party wasn't anywhere near done. Keeping the Thanksgiving tradition of stuffing our faces in mind, O'Callaghan pushed the crowd hard. We'll consider it a public service because it turned into a great pre-turkey workout. This was a big night for trance, the talent delivered a strong and appropriately active set of wall shattering sound. It looks like electronica is back at it's holy site and the positive energy made many question their affiliation with other genres.