Warm-Up DJ Sets
Sometimes you have to hold back on the big records so as to keep the momentum chugging away nicely.” – DJ Coco Loco
Consider this for a moment: You walk into a club after a hectic week at work and all you want to do is forget about the world, grab a drink and settle in for a top night of dancing. As you enter you are greeted by a Paul Glazby’s Hostile played at +8 threatening to burst your ear drums. The anticipation for a good night’s boogie has just been trodden on by some glory boy DJ, quite likely the club manager’s mate. Promoters; just because your mate happens to know how to fiddle with a CDJ and has convinced you to allow them to ‘play the hottest tracks’ it does not mean they are worthy of this time slot. A DJ who isn’t up to the task of opening can dissipate the energy in the room before the party even gets going.
Let’s get something straight – DJ’s… we know that your biggest dream is to play in front of scores of screaming fans in all their glory. However, often the best opportunities for getting a foot in the door in any club is through solid warm up sets ahead of the main slot. So make it last! Understand crowd psychology, human behavioural patterns – it’s called warm-up for a reason!
Don’t blow it…
“Sometimes you have to hold back on the big records so as to keep the momentum chugging away nicely. When I put together my DJ line-ups I view them as if it were a relay race. The tracks represent the time frame of the party and the runners represent the DJs and the crowd on the floor,” he adds thoughtfully. “If the opening DJ keeps that groove going and keeps the people on the floor interested, then by the time the next DJ takes over the crowd is ready and willing. Then that’s a job well done!”
Personally, I’ve found good warm up sets all about contrast and building tension in anticipation of what’s coming. Danny Tenaglia doesn’t play 12 hours of ‘big tunes’. He builds things slowly over time. Why can’t this musical attitude be applied by all warm-up Dj’s?
“Don’t scare the mood of the evening with a personality complex issue of not being able to get the crowd to settle into the groove in the build up to the main DJ set” says DJ Mamba (Mpumi).