Chicago native and San Francisco resident Dj Mark Farina flew back to his hometown last Saturday night to sprinkle a little holiday house music cheer among an eager Smartbar crowd. Mark Farina did not disappoint. Every year that Farina comes back to the city of Chicago to play a three to four hour set, house music aficionados come out in droves to dance until the light switch flips on; bright bulbs revealing a still-packed venue of dancing house-heads at 5am. This year was no different. Once again, Mark Farina sent the crowd on a long, spiritual, house-based musical journey.
Smartbar set the stage with its moody, minimal lighting and crisp Funktion One soundsystem; both perfectly complimenting the intimate vibe in the basement venue. The night took off around 1am with Farina laying down deep, funky house tracks to get the crowd jacking on the dance floor early; setting the tone for the rest of the night with Kevin Yost’s “Messing with my Soul”. The tempo remained upbeat all night and attendees kept dancing as Farina seamlessly mixed different flavors of house back and forth throughout the evening to showcase his versatility and create a variety of rhythmic dancing on the floor. Farina moved back and forth between jazzy house, soulful house, classic house(such as Linden B “Deep Beats [Cee’s Siren Dub]” 1992), and straight-up banging house. At one point the crowd seemed to move and sweat in unison to the ‘freak and fly’ lyrics of Kid Enigma’s “Dangerous” track.
At the end of the night I left Smartbar satisfied; all house music taste buds fully indulged. I can safely say I will be looking forward to the next Mark Farina event. Be on the lookout for more appearances by Mark Farina in Chicago and the midwest throughout 2015. You can find him playing at clubs (Smartbar, Evil Olive, The Mid), street fests (West Fest), larger festivals (Detroit’s Movement), and various underground loft parties and afterhours.
A few weeks ago a picture of the alleged flyer announcing the Phase 1 lineup of Ultra Music Festival (pictured on the left), which takes part in March in Miami during the Winter Music Conference, surfaced and spread cross the internet. Nothing was confirmed on any of Ultra’s social media sites or official website until now.
Pictured below you have the official Phase 1 Lineup Announcement take directly from Ultra’s Website. Turns out this rumored “fake” flyer turned out to be real.
The major duo of Josh “J2K” Young and Curt “Autobot” Cameruci were clearly a must see as they made a stop in their hometown of Chicago during their HDYNation Tour. The anticipation grew so large for Floss; who can be best remembered for their legendary parties at the Boystown dive bar Town Hall Pub, it was no surprise that the whole Aragon Ballroom venue was sold out. The crowd brought an interesting mixture of both EDM and hip hop lovers.
GTA warmed up the crowd right before Floss came on to destroy. After seeing GTA this past summer at Electric Forest my expectations were definitely set high. GTA rocked the crowd playing the perfect mixture of trap and house. GTA clearly set the right mood for Flosstradamus to come on stage.
Floss opened with a bang and blue smoke which soon revealed their gigantic stage that stood high with the HDY Nation flagged dropped down from the top of it. Josh “J2K” Young popped out with his HDY Nation flag and commanded all the HDY grlz and HDY boyz to raise the Floss symbol in the air. When “Original Don” came on everyone went insane, after all it was the song that started it all for Floss.
Floss threw it down dropping hit’s like “Roll Up”, “Coco”, “Climax”, “Stoner”, “Pillz”, and of course “Mosh Pit.” Floss took immediate crowd control commanding the 5,000 people in the crowd to take out their lighters and phones while all the lights were shut down. Simultaneously the crowd swayed side to side as the music slowed down. The show was overall great, but I do admit I had bigger expectations for Floss going harder considering Chicago is their hometown. Looking back to seeing Flosstradamus almost two years ago, this show can be considered just a bit disappointing.