Teksupport returned with a month-long warehouse series and the closing night with Guy Gerber and Seth Troxler was music to our ears!
When Teksupport announced its summer warehouse series, local fans were stoked at the opportunity to return to classic techno raves. Teksupport has access to an arsenal of boldface talent, and the lineups for this series did not disappoint. A dark and immersive experience was promised in the promos leading up to the series. They even added to the allure by keeping the venue (could it be venues?) a secret until the series began.
When the venue was finally disclosed, locals were quite surprised to see Brooklyn Hangar resurrected from the ashes. As far as I can tell, the venue had not been operational since 2017 and I, for one, was happy to see it return. It’s a divisive space because it’s a true warehouse with only the most basic infrastructure. Aside from electricity and basic code compliance (like properly marked exits) it is an entirely blank slate for promoters to do what they’d like. There are no permanent bathrooms, just a sizeable bank of port-o-potties outside in a space that also corrals a food truck and revelers seeking a breath of Brooklyn outdoor air.
While I absolutely love the rawness of the space, many complain that having to use port-o-potties at a “club” is unacceptable. But isn’t this the truest warehouse experience? Have warehouse raves become so cozy that the mere sight of a port-o-potty will turn some away? In the end, it is all about what the organizers choose to do with such a blank canvas that appeals to me and others that love the classic warehouse rave.
Teksupport promised an “immersive warehouse experience” – did they deliver?
Let me say right off the bat that this event was absolutely fantastic. I mean, seriously fantastic! I’ll get to the lineup and music momentarily, but here is my one strike against an otherwise perfect event. When I see “immersive” in the promo material, I expect a unique visual experience to accompany the music. Whether it’s video mapping, intense light shows, side rooms, or other visuals, saying immersive really raises the bar. And while this was a perfectly executed warehouse show where additional immersion wasn’t really needed, I spent the first hour or so mildly distracted by wondering why it was promoted that way.
There was only one other negative, but one out of the control of Teksupport and actually handled quite well by the Teksupport team – idiots in the crowd. As I entered around 12:15 AM, I felt like I was getting on my high school bus as the aroma of Drakkar Noir practically drowned me. (I truly didn’t know they still sold that stuff, much less that anyone wore it.) As I wandered the only lightly occupied space, as the event would run till 6 AM, I couldn’t help but notice how many people seemed drunk beyond return at such an early hour. Several were removed by staff before it even reached 2 AM, but the result was a largely fresh and happy crowd for the rest of the event.
With my critical observations out of the way, let me say that the giant disco balls and light show were really perfect for the warehouse experience. The number of tickets sold also seemed perfect – it wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t a sardine can, either. And while this may be minor to some, for this (mostly) sober raver, the $4 bottled water was a gift from the heavens. Cocktails were still expensive, but $4 water in NYC is unheard of at events – and for the Red Bull fans, those were only $5.
The Teksupport lineup promised, and delivered – including a late-breaking surprise!
The show I attended was a Saturday show with Seth Troxler headlining. Guy Gerber headlined the Friday show and on Saturday morning it was announced that he was being added to the Saturday lineup as well as a “special guest.” In a wildly crowd-pleasing move, adding Gerber didn’t take away from any other times on the lineup – instead, they added another two hours to the show moving the end time from 4 AM to 6 AM! Even in NYC, the city that never sleeps, most venues won’t run past 4 AM, so this was quite a treat and also guaranteed that die-hards would exit the Hangar into the morning sunrise.
Here’s where I disclose a big confession – I’d never seen anyone on this lineup before! Not Troxler, not Gerber, not Mano Le Tough, Perel, or Ana Boo. I’ve heard lots from Troxler and Gerber, so I was thrilled to finally see them live, and my local crew seemed to have a soft spot for Mano Le Tough, so I knew I was in for a treat. In fact, one friend made a joke that he hoped Gerber would show up late and Mano would get an extended set, which sort of came true! We’ll get to that later.
The talent for the night was, well, appropriately talented and clearly reading the room throughout the night.
When I arrived Perel was already well into her set, and I loved what little I caught of it. I wish I had been there for more of her set, but the NYC traffic gods did not lean in my favor. When Mano Le Tough took over, he drove some long, steady beats for the first several tracks. I found the sounds quite familiar but I was also shamelessly Shazaming over and over to both keep track of what I was hearing and look up certain tracks and artists later.
Beyond the classic techno opening of his set that covered the first 45-minutes or so, there’s one word I used over and over when trying to describe his set: expansive. For the next 75-minutes, his set went far and wide with lots of broad atmospheres, world house sounds, some tribal beats, and a little spoken word thrown in for good measure.
As Mano Le Tough was supposed to be ending his set, he didn’t show any signs of stopping. In fact, he seamlessly moved from the former trend of expansive sounds to the dark and beating rhythm of a Berlin club. But, wait, isn’t his set over? Well, apparently not! He went on to play another hour, 2.5 hours in total before Gerber took over at 3 AM. Mano’s extended set was really terrific, but now I was wondering if he and Troxler would each play their listed 2-hours, taking us till 7 AM. I’m all for extended parties, but that might be past my limit knowing that I was going to another show at 3 PM!
Say what you will about Guy Gerger and Seth Troxler, these guys are headliners for good reason!
Maybe it’s just the crowd I run with, but both Gerber and Troxler often get so little respect. Maybe this is simply a product of success and longevity – and, certainly, Troxler has said some controversial things in his time. Whatever the case, the crowd, including myself, thoroughly enjoyed the next three hours. Gerber played for an hour, then Troxler joined him for a 30-min B2B leaving Troxler to solo the final 90-mins. There was never a dull moment till the house lights came up!
A lot of Gerber’s set seemed familiar to me, and Shazam confirmed several recognizable tracks (for those with better ID memory than me, that is.) One track really pulled me in and when it was ID’d as “Before Sunrise” by Heavenchord, I realized I found a new artist to dig into. It’s an atmospheric and heavenly track that runs way too long to play on its own in a live set, but Gerber masterfully used it as a backdrop and transition for a multi-song sequence. I was initially embarrassed to find myself crying with emotion until I noted how many strangers around me were in the same state. I kinda feel like heightened emotion at post-pandemic raves will be with us for a while, and I’m OK with that.
When Troxler took the stage, and it was clear that Gerber wasn’t going anywhere, I was astounded.
Maybe I’m naive, maybe I haven’t been to enough shows, maybe it’s just pent-up pandemic emotion, but seeing these two legends on the decks together took my breath away. Their 30-mins together was just the fresh energy I needed to assure I’d make it till the end. We were now past the mental timeline where most local raves end, so my energy was waning. But the B2B was really energetic, with lots of notable vocal tracks to keep us dancing and singing along. A fan favorite was “The Magic Room (Dino Lenny & Seth Troxler Re-Edit)” and I chuckled when they played “Your Brain On Music” from Ron Basjam after “You Need The Drugs” from Westbam was played earlier in the lineup. Music is our drug, so this tracks.
While the Gerber B2B Troxler section was full of straight-up crowd-pleasers and re-energizing tracks, when Gerber stepped away, Troxler showed us some magic.
In modern rave culture, there are a lot of people asking “was the set pre-recorded?” I didn’t need to watch Troxler in action to know for a fact he was mixing live. He unabashedly spun knobs and mashed buttons throughout his set, weaving in reverbs, echoes, and warbles, where there were none before. His transitions were sometimes smooth, and sometimes filthy, but always interesting, and he never let a beat go on too long before mixing it up. At this late time in the show when it can be hard to keep the energy up, Troxler delivered the goods and kept the crowd from thinning out.
Well, during his last 20-mins or so the crowd began to thin, but in post-pandemic NYC, getting a rideshare can be downright impossible and fans were trying to be strategic in beating the surge. But Troxler played on and pleased the remaining crowd right till the end with classics like “We Are Together” from Guy Matzur and curiosities like “Ocean” from Solomun featuring Jamie Foxx on vocals. And while Troxler was dialing up the audio energy, the Teksupport lighting crew was pulling out all the stops over the final hour to assure no one wanted to leave too soon.
All in all, this was an almost flawless warehouse execution by Teksupport.
If I hadn’t read any hype before this event, I’d say it was a perfect warehouse party and Teksupport made all the right moves. I don’t expect warehouses to have elaborate video mapping or side rooms to escape. Instead, I expect just what Teksupport delivered – high-energy performers in a raw space, with great sound and a good light show. In fact, an audiophile friend commented how great a sound system was in use at Brooklyn Hangar, which is more important than any immersive experience. And this is why Teksupport ultimately shines – the quality of the talent and the sound itself makes for an unforgettable experience!
So, hey, Teksupport, whatcha got coming up next? Cause I wanna be there!
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