SPW Palooza: Jesse Marco and Giants of Science Impress; Fareoh Disappoints

Well friends, another Spring Party Weekend (SPW) has come and gone. Lots of food, drinks and good times later, it falls on me to try to have a look at how the Palooza went down. First on the lineup, Giants of Science rolled out with a lot of ’80s and ’90s favorites. The audience definitely got a kick out of the fact that everyone collectively knew all of the words to just about all of the songs that the band played. All in all, I was pretty surprised that they went on first. I probably would have put them on last; everyone singing along to everything would have been pretty cathartic after two house sets. Then again, a lot of people came at the beginning of the event and didn’t actually stick around through much of the third set, so I suppose it’s for the best that they went on when they did. Giants dropped particularly nice covers of “American Girl” and “Don’t Stop Believing,” but then again, given the role they fill, they sort of have to. They definitely lost points for playing “Safety Dance,” though (a personal preference that I’ll take heat for, but really? “Safety Dance?”) Still, a fun, energetic set that got the crowd going to a great degree and then got out of the way – precisely what a good opener should do.

Jesse Marco was fantastic. He put out an energetic progressive house set that was well mixed and had an excellent balance of original and remixed material. His original stuff was absolutely solid and his remixes were fresh and exciting. Furthermore, his use of lighting effects was pretty impressive for the relatively non-existent setup infrastructure. Above all else, though, I was floored by Marco’s audience interaction. I have written on multiple occasions this year that, at least for me, what sets a great DJ apart from a lot of good DJs is how they make connections with their club floor and audience. In this capacity, Marco came through with flying colors. He was shouting out, making calls, getting people moving and engaging us over every single track. I think that the whole audience on Saturday felt this connection, and the performance was better for it. I, for the life of me, do not understand why Marco wasn’t closing the show, especially considering Fareoh’s fairly mediocre performance.

Fareoh was fine. His music was fine. His performance was fine. His mixes were solid, but he failed to live up to the high level of audience interaction that Jesse Marco set. Fareoh’s usage of lighting, following Marco’s dynamic setup, consisted mainly of putting his logo, which reminds me of an inversion of Dr. Evil’s logo from the first “Austin Powers” movie, up on the screen behind his booth. Fareoh is a good DJ, but for a tired crowd after two prior performers, he didn’t give the crowd that kick he really could have. I still say that Marco or Giants should have closed.

Finally, I couldn’t write some remarks about the Palooza and omit a couple of other things. First of all, the food both on Friday and Saturday was great. There’s probably a list of food providers – and I’m not the guy to supply it – but BBQ, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, ice cream, cookies and lots of water. Food logistics for the whole weekend came through in a big way. Two thumbs up. Finally a quick shout out to all of the volunteers who distributed food, maintained things, admitted people and dealt with a huge crowd of Colgate kids at the rowdiest time of the year. A tip of the hat to those ladies and gentlemen.