ABDJ Tour Report: Desert Heat, Pool Parties & One UFC Champ

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Mr. Morillo

Las Vegas—After our recent visit to Las Vegas, nobody can say that we don’t complete our appointed missions. No, this past weekend was special—for a variety of reasons.

America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ made a desert stop at a time when the sands were baking—to the tune of 112-degrees the day we arrived—and the DJs were ultra-hot themselves.

It’s not often that we get to work two outdoor events in such climate (in the space of 18 hours, no less), but somehow we did it.

On the evening of Saturday, July 2, we camped out on the outdoor deck of Marquee —just between the Nightclub and the Dayclub—to take votes for one of clubland’s top draws, Erick Morillo, a longtime America’s Best DJ nominee. And the Subliminal Sessionist didn’t disappoint the late-night, sell-out crowd with his mixture of current underground flavors, crossover jams and classics. We checked the temperature at 11 pm—only 100 degrees, but, y’know, dry. (Big thanks to Marquee’s Deanna Rilling for her valuable contributions to the evening and a big shout-out to our new friends from The OC, Alex and birthday gal Liz—happy 29th!)

What next, after an evening like that? Hit the sack, wake up, and do it again the very next afternoon—this time at beautiful Tao Beach with trance-master Markus Schulz at the helm. For an outdoor event taking place in 108-degree heat—yes, 108—there was some wild partying going on. Everyone was in the Independence-Day mood, splashing in the pool, dancing by the DJ booth, blasting away with Super-Soakers, while ABDJ nom Schulz hit the right melodic notes during a two-hour set that was literally scorching. (Big thanks to Tao Group’s Omar Galeano and Phung Tran for the hospitality at Tao Beach—and also to Tao Group’s Sol Shafer for hooking it all up. We’ll see you all again in October.)

We had an “off-day” Sunday, so we popped over to XS for an unscheduled 4th of July visit with America’s Best DJ nominees Manufactured Superstars. Although we’ll catch their act next week at Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks in Morrison, Col., we were happy to drop in on their set which saw us mixing with some rather random party partners—XS resident Afrojack, former UFC champ Chuck Liddell and sports journo Jay Glazer.

Now retired from The Octagon, Liddell still cuts an imposing figure, even when he’s grooving to house music. I was reminded of the quote about former NFL great Mean Joe Greene, which went: “Mean Joe Greene ain’t always so mean, but he ain’t no pussycat either.” Liddell was in a great mood, and we were glad he stayed that way.

Back to the Present: Today, our intrepid photographer Ashley Suszczynski has landed in Mariaville, N.Y., for the Camp Bisco festival, where for the next few days she’ll be shooting and taking votes for ABDJ noms Skrillex, TOKiMONSTA, Wolfgang Gartner and Bassnectar (an upcoming DJ Times cover boy). And tonight, we’ll be setting up shop at Manhattan’s gorgeous Cielo club for the Basic party featuring Sleepy & Boo, who will surely be dropping a set of proper house music. (If you’d like to attend the Cielo event for free before midnight Friday, please RSVP here: rsvp@basicnyc.com.)

As always, fans can cast their ballots at the events where we’ll maintain a dedicated voting booth (with free DJ Times mags) and also online at www.americasbestdj.net. One lucky fan will win a trip for two to Vegas’ Marquee Club for the America’s Best DJ Closing Party/Award Ceremony on October 1. Cast your ballot and take a chance—you could be a winner.
– Jim Tremayne


Morillo photo by Brenton Ho