For the fourth year I got to spin for Alt 98.7’s Summer Camp show, in Long Beach. As the DJ for The Woody Show, their morning show, I am lucky enough to be invited to open these concerts, and spin sets between the acts. It’s really fun, but also a bit intimidating, to be in stage in front of thousands. This last one had about 7500 people.
The lineup was killer, and pretty packed, so I didn’t get to do but one 20 minute set between acts, to go with my hour set at the beginning. The opening set was fine, without too many highlights, as people were just filtering in, and it was hot. By the end of the first set there were probably about 4000 people already in the Queen Mary Park, with more on the way. I got heads and bodies moving, and by the time I was done the crowd was already singing along to familiar alternative hits.
My second set was at almost 7pm, the heat had faded, and I smashed them right away with some power-pop-punk goodies. The crowd ate it up, singing all the words, and having a generally great time. The Woody Show joined me on stage during my set, but pretty much let me do my thing. The set got extended five extra minutes on the fly, but no problem, I had an arsenal ready. I recorded the set, so maybe I will post that soon.
Don’t let my words fool you, however. Even after 30 years of this I still get nervous sometimes, and these type of gigs always leave me a bit queasy. I’m not much of a visual DJ. I don’t dance or throw cake or hand-hearts or any of that bullshit. I touch the knobs on the mixer for a reason, not because I need to pretend I’m doing something. So I’m always working, getting the next song ready, working the crowd, and I’m hitting them with audio punches one after another. But I still get shy on stage, and feel awkward. I don’t have a mic to work with usually, and I just feel like I’m boring to watch, even if the music is great. This time was no exception, but when I hit my second set, I felt more in my element. I’ve DJd plenty of concerts, for some huge crowds, and there is no greater feeling than having thousands sing along to your mixes.