As You Like It with Peter Van Hoesen & Lucy - Party Review

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 20/2/12 19:11

As You Like It with Peter Van HoesenThe club selected for As You Like It’s recent event, Beatbox, was a large metal building located right in the heart of San Francisco’s rock club district. It flies in the face of logic, but also keeps the place low key and off the radar giving it more of a secret warehouse party vibe than Folsom Street meat market.

But anyone who has ever attended an event like this knows a metal building is as sterile and lifeless as the Moon without a good crowd, and a good crowd shows up if the music is good.

Peter Van Hoesen made an impressive debut last year in San Francisco, performing a 3-hour set to a packed house this time, buzzing about his last appearance and also hyped up on the debut of Lucy, who put on a real show, working a set for a small crowd early and to a packed room later during his three hour opening set.

Cap that with solid support from AYLI residents Mossmoss and Christina Chatfield, who performed a skillful live set for those still standing after Van Hoesen’s endurance run on the decks, the good music factor was more than covered, and the vibe just right. 

Lucy’s debut was much like his studio music – subtle, sneaky, and on occasion – dramatic. He put on a school, building tension early on with a restrained, minimal techno style that is meant to blend in to the background of the room filled only with a few bodies and attendees arriving and meeting with their various tribes that they will spend the rest of the night with.

Over the course of Lucy’s set, the crowd began to swell, but never to obscene numbers, just small enough that almost everyone in attendance knew each other and could just as easily stop for a conversation and a drink as dance with reckless abandon. The real key to survival this night was being able to deftly perform all three functions at once.  As the room filled, the anticipation for a guy who made some big waves in techno last year became noticeable, and Lucy adjusted his music accordingly – building in waves and comprised of layers of grimy darkness and funky bongos. 

As You Like It with LucyWhen things reached a fever pitch, the mix got explosive with hints of the Stroboscopic Artefact’s post techno cum dubstep funkiness that the kids all seem to love and got a jaded San Francisco crowd on their feet with full attention to the work being presented. It was a multidimensional performance that brought some sexual spark to the usual crowd of celibate techno robot boys.

If Lucy was a model of restraint, setting the stage, then Peter Van Hoesen was the picture of unrestrained, relentless hedonism. Pleasure or else was the ethos that ruled the dance floor during the back half of the night and Van Hoesen proved again why he has become a San Francisco techno favorite with a set that shifted gears so many times it was hard to figure out where the DJ was taking the crowd, but it was obvious whether the guy was puffing a spliff or working the faders on the mix he was in complete control at all times.

He owned the show with a dizzying array of melodic progressions, retro tunes, and pummeling techno drums that were unceasing as he changed moods like most people change the channels on a television set.

Trying to figure out where Van Hoesen was going next based on track selection was an enigmatic challenge but the crowd could not have cared any less, every inch of the sweaty, smiling mass was in Van Hoesen’s thrall.

On this post Valentine’s night there was a special electricity on the dance floor created only by the very best DJs and the crowd knew it, staying in numbers all the way to the very end, the surest form of a complement in an otherwise heartless business.

Next One
As I Like It: Jeremy's Birthday Celebration
Friday, March 9, 2012 - 9:00pm until 5:00am
DVS1 (KLOCKWORKS, Transmat, Hush // Minneapolis)
Juju & Jordash LIVE (Rush Hour, Dekmantel // Netherlands)
Carlos Souffront (IT, WCBN // Ann Arbor)
Rich Korach & Mossmoss aka The Bros (AYLI)

VIDEO: Will Erokan

As I Like It: Jeremy's Birthday Celebration

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