Disclaimer: it should be understood that I have been following Sander van Doorn for quite some time and Ruby Skye has and always will be one of my favorite venues in San Francisco. This is for any points made in this entry that appear bias. Follow me? Perfect.
From the get go, I had a chip on my shoulder leading to this show when it has come to seeing Sander van Doorn live in the bay area. I've had opportunities to catch his live act but several outside interferences have hindered that. Him being an opening act, my typical late arrival, venue's poor organization, long lines, hearing about the show too late, etc etc. Certainly big amounts of frustration, considering I've been sold over as a huge fan ever since the release of his track "Riff" on the Supernaturalistic album and hearing it and other classics non-stop on radio shows like A State of Trance and played at live shows. I felt like this was a chance to redeem on previous failures and finally catch one of my heroes in the EDM world.
Arriving at Ruby Skye via car vs taxi always adds on another 30 minutes minimum thanks to looking for parking in packed SF on a Friday night. The line to get into Ruby Skye? Make that another 45-60 minutes depending on your position in line and what time you have arrived. This has always been one of my points of frustration with the place as the organization's may fault is always with the entry. Sometimes it feels like it doesn't matter whether you bought tickets or not, printed them out vs willcall, or free guest list because everyone waits in a line anyway. A line, I might add, that becomes infinitely longer as people cut in line. Last time I came to see Cosmic Gate, I waited 60 minutes. This time? Thanks to printing out tickets it shortened my trip just a little bit, but would have been the same if I was just buying tickets at the door. Very convenient eh? Something definitely needs to be done about this. The time passed by a little quicker this time thanks to some new crazy friends that were made on the walk to the venue that were traveling from Barcelona. They had never heard of Sander van Doorn but wanted to check out Ruby Skye. What a night they were in for...
Once inside, I realized I was right on time as the last opener put on his last few tracks. Cue the madness put on by SvD!! The big hype leading up to this was the release of his Dusk Till Doorn compilation that very same week. As expected, many tracks from that release were spun including some of my favorites: "She Gives Happiness (Arty Remix)" by D-Mad, "Moment" by Stoneface & Terminal, and "Tweak Your Nipple (Tiesto Remix)" by Faithless. He dropped some of his own tracks too that made for a classic mix including the epic "Hymn 2.0". As I imagined it beforehand, the crowd was nuts. Ruby Skye always has a good balance of dedicated fans of the night's act and newcomers just along for the ride not knowing what is going on. Both demographics seemed like they were enjoying themselves and packed the dance floor with an incredible amount of energy. The venue's stage production, lighting, sound, background images, and gogo dancers have always been a point of strength when it comes to shows here.
The kicker that made my night all the more epic? Besides making some international friends and introducing them to our domain in the city...my own little groupie moment of watching Sander van Doorn in action up close, toasting a drink with him, shaking his hand, and talking to him after the show turned into one of those surreal moments that took me back to when I was a teenager meeting Papa Roach for the first time. Rarely does one get to experience watching one of their musical heroes up close. But meeting them? Makes it an entirely different show. In an all exclusive world when it comes to DJ's and electronic dance music, this one felt all in the family. I'll certainly see this show and Sander van Doorn himself in a very unique light from here on out. Not to mention him taking the time to also embrace fans out on the dance floor; telltale signs of a DJ dedicated to his fanbase and craft. Let's break it down now...
Crowd - As I mentioned, the Ruby Skye crowd is always a unique blend of club goers ignorant to who is playing on stage and dedicated fans. All were in big time for this show. But who couldn't be? SvD was just spinning so well and dropped the hits. Everyone was dancing.
Production - Ruby Skye never disappoints in the spectacles they put on to make sure their club looks nothing less than world class. I certainly appreciated it all. Kudos to them for not disappointing.
Organization - As I mentioned earlier, Ruby Skye has issues when it comes to who they let in and who they make wait at the entrance of the club. Much to work out here. Ticket holders and will call guests should be the first ones to get let in. But hey, what do I know about clubs?
Lineup - Considering I didn't arrive to the club in time to catch the other DJ's, I can't say much to this respect. I have heard much about them which makes for good company for SvD but unfortunately was not able to catch them in the mix.
Rating: Great tunes, world class DJ, great crowd, great club, great friends. Isn't that the recipe for success of a Friday night in San Francisco? It was a breath of fresh air to come to a show like this and be reminded that DJ's love their fans and take the time to show it even during their hectic schedules. Things just came together perfectly. I'll remember this one forever. ***** (5 stars).
***** - Perfect night. Legendary show
**** - Great night. Very enjoyable
*** - Decent night. Some things were hit or miss but overall fine.
** - Boring night. Not too many enjoyable things at this show.
* - Terrible night. Everything went wrong with this one. Where's the booze?
Cheers and Goodnight music heads.