America’s Best DJ: Windy City Wildness, Philly Fun

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Rock the Tent: Morgan Page in the mix.

Rock the Tent: Morgan Page in the mix. © Ryan Sahlin

Philadelphia—Once again, America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times hits the road and, as spring turns to summer, it seems like we’re getting the distinct pleasure of experiencing the New Jersey Turnpike on alternating weekends. No sweat, though, as we trek from NYC down to Philadelphia on Friday, we’ll just crank the Springsteen—good thing we made a digital copy of Arthur Baker’s “Dancing in the Dark” remixes. Molly Pitcher Rest Stop and Bob’s Big Boy, here we come!

After a mad weekend in the Windy City for the Spring Awakening Music Festival at Soldier Field, we’re back to clubland with Saeed Younan—one of our favorite proper-house jocks—as he’s set to play Rumor in Philadelphia’s City Centre. As we’ve experienced inspired sets from Saeed on his home turf—Washington, D.C.’s Lima Lounge—we’ll be curious to see how well he can pull off a road win in The City of Brotherly Love.

Get your groove on, Philly, because DJ Times will be in the house, taking ABDJ votes for Saeed, pushing the upcoming DJ Expo (Aug. 13-16 in nearby Atlantic City, N.J.) and generally flexing the brand by handing out the latest issue and making new friends.

Stadium Scratchin': A-Trak at Soldier Field's main stage.

Stadium Scratchin': A-Trak at Soldier Field's main stage. © Ryan Sahlin

Back in Chicago this past weekend, there was plenty to see and hear, as 15 America’s Best DJ nominees played Spring Awakening. They included A-Trak, Claude Von Stroke, Designer Drugs, Dillon Francis, Gabriel & Dresden, Kill the Noise, Markus Schulz, Morgan Page, Tommie Sunshine, Derrick Carter, Diplo, Green Velvet, Moby, and Wolfgang Gartner and Skrillex. Additionally, plenty of afterparties—including a doozie from Ferry Corsten at Vision/Excalibur—kept Chicagoans out late.

Set along busy Lakeshore Drive, the festival (produced by React Presents) featured four DJ stages, including a massive setup inside the football stadium. Lucky for area EDM fans, the line-up didn’t disappoint—from Tommie Sunshine’s banging afternoon house set to Morgan Page’s singalong session, from A-Trak’s scratching finale to Kill the Noise’s tent-raising crunch-a-thon, a throng of fans (an estimated 40,000 altogether) was given a relatively diverse serving of genres. Although the end of Skrillex’s smoke-and-pyro-infused set was visited by a nasty Saturday-night storm roaring in from Lake Michigan, most Spring Awakening visitors were up for the Soldier Field party, rain be damned. Surely, the scene was a long way from the days of Dick Butkus and Mike Ditka.

Spring Awakening: Chicago EDM fans get loose. © Ryan Sahlin

Spring Awakening: Chicago EDM fans get loose. © Ryan Sahlin

Yes, DJ Times was there with a dedicated booth and we racked up more votes than we ever have for an event. Also, John Saplala of Arlington Heights, Ill., who stopped by the booth to vote for Diplo, was randomly selected as the latest winner of Pioneer DJ gear—this time, it’s a pair of HDJ-2000 headphones. Congrats, John!

And, as you may know by now, fans who vote for an America’s Best DJ nominee, fans who Like us on Facebook, and fans who Follow us on Twitter all are automatically entered to win plenty of prizes—including subscriptions to DJ Times, ultra-hot gear from Pioneer DJ and (as grand prize) a trip for 2 to Las Vegas for the America’s Best DJ Closing Party/Award Ceremony at Marquee Nightclub on Oct. 7.

And we’ll catch you in Philly, on the next stop of America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times. Vote and win.