EDM…it begins and ends with Gareth Emery

#10 and I killin it at Kyau and Albert...a few months before I called it a day with alcohol

#10 and I killin it at Kyau and Albert…a few months before I called it a day with alcohol

A video from Gareth’s Portland show in 2013:


Check out Gareth Emery’s Podcast #268.  About halfway through the episode he does his shout outs.  Kieran had sent in an email to the show, before I raced The North Face 50 Miler last December, wishing me good luck at the race and that every time I trained I had a Gareth set blaring in ear-buds.  Gareth ended up reading the email on #268, pretty damn cool in my opinion.

As I mentioned in an earlier post my introduction to the EDM/Trance world was when Gush lent me a copy of the Trainspotting soundtrack.  Underworld’s Born Slippy caught my ear and quickly became a fixture in my playlists.  When I got to St. Lawrence Kieran upped the ante and introduced me to more of the trance scene.  Given my addictive personality/need for adrenaline, along with the intensity of the music, I got hooked immediately and began listening to everything Kieran sent my way.

I’m sure that everyone has a type of music that brings them back to a certain time in their lives.  Motley Crue is a perfect example, as I relate it to all of the adventures I had with Matt and Matt when we were kids.  However, if I think of the EDM scene, and going to shows in particular, I don’t have many memories because whenever I went I took getting hammered to a new level.  The first big show I went to, at NYC’s Pacha, was to see Armin Van Buuren.  This is what I recall after taking a bottle of vodka that our table had purchased and drinking half of it in the span of twenty minutes, unbeknownst to the rest of our crew that night.  I remember Armin coming on and opening up with “Big Sky,” and after that, nothing else.  Somehow in the middle of NYC I got home that night, in one piece, alive, without a clue as to how I got back to the apartment I was staying at.  The next day I was supposed to go to a hockey game with my then-fiancee, but instead I rolled around sick in a Philadelphia hotel room, trying to explain why I couldn’t function.  Needless to say we got in a huge fight that day.

Years later, after I moved to Corvallis, I started to hear about a bar in Portland that played host to several smaller acts that came through the Pacific NW.  Not sure why it took so long for me to uncover this gem, but once I discovered the Whiskey Bar it was game on…all of the way on.  I got hooked in after meeting a couple of the local DJ’s then making the trip to Portland for every show I could afford to get to.  It was a drug, and I treated it as such.  My nights of the show would go down like this:  Drive to Portland, crank a Gareth set on my radio, starting drinking Ninkasi’s around Wilsonville, get to #10’s (Jeff Costello’s nickname) apartment before he got home, make myself at home and blast Gareth through his speakers, start taking rips out of every liquor bottle that he had (evenly of course, so he wouldn’t notice what I was doing), meet up with #10, get more cocktails, go to the Whiskey Bar, double fist Double Crown Royal’s, listen to half of the set, black out, then somehow get back to #10’s in one piece.  Considering the location of the Whiskey and the neighborhoods I walked through at odd hours of the night to get home, I’m very surprised and very lucky that I didn’t end up in a ditch somewhere.  Then the next morning I’d wake up and go throw down a 20 mile run in Forest Park to justify all of the bad things I did the night before, which fed my perceived invincibility and ego, which ultimately led to my bottom.  It was a vicious cycle to say the least.

To date I’ve seen Paul Oakenfold, Armin, Ronski Speed, Tritonal, Kohma, Kyau and Albert, Super 8 and Tab, BT, and Arty, among others.  Then there was the Gareth Emery show.  In a bit of a last minute announcement he put a stop at the Whiskey Bar on his schedule.  I texted a friend of mine that Gareth was coming to Portland and to see if she wanted to go, which she did. I grabbed two tickets and we made a plan to get up to the show.  Unfortunately, due to me acting like a 15yr old asshole the week leading up to the show, she didn’t join me, which I still beat myself up over because I know we would have had a blast.  You know who you are and I will make it up to ya ;).  Instead of bringing her I recruited #10 to join me once again for a night of mischief.  Needless to say, I only remember maybe the first 25% of the show, and once again I luckily found myself waking up the next day, not having a clue as to how I got home.  This combination of EDM shows and excessive alcohol was a big part and realization of my need for sobriety, I used these shows as an excuse to get out of my mind, meanwhile inflicting a lot of pain to my body and head.  It would all catch up with me very soon.

Now that I’m sober I still find myself partly using EDM as a drug to put me into a trance during long workouts, which I suppose isn’t such a bad thing.  I still love the music and religiously listen to every Gareth, Markus Schulz, Above and Beyond, Ben Gold, and Tritonal podcast that comes out on a weekly basis.  The first sober show I went to was Arty this past summer, with #10 and Brisa.  Was a little nervous at first but once I got settled at Whiskey, with two close and trusted friends nearby, it was a great time.  And I remember the whole show.  Arty closed with “London Grammar” and instead of incoherently stumbling back to #10’s I gave a big yawn as we left Whiskey.

EDM is on my mind tonight as I write this because I am currently working on a project to develop and enhance the scene here, for the college kids, in Corvallis.  I suppose selfishly I just want a show to go to where I can drive 5 minutes afterwards and be in bed, exhausted.  With the help of a couple of friends here in town, along with my Portland DJ connections, I want to pull it off just so I can give something back, to the music for the music.  For better or worse EDM has been an integral part of my life.  Now that I can actually remember shows and not listen to the music for the pure sake of addiction, maybe it can become an even bigger part of my life.

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about check out Gareth Emery’s podcast #246 (Live from Global Gathering UK 2013).  For the last two years this has been my go-to set.





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