Dave Dresden of Gabriel & Dresden threw down a massive set in Indianapolis filled with crowd-pleasers for the Club Quarantine Classics tour.
Gabriel & Dresden is a name that needs no introduction, as the duo has been making some of the most iconic and instantly recognizable songs in trance and progressive house music since the early 2000s. Together, Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden have worked in tandem to help to pioneer the genres as we know them today, and all these years later, they’re still performing and putting on stunning sets.
In the past few years, Gabriel & Dresden have drawn in an even greater fanbase with Club Quarantine, a series of livestreams that the duo launched when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and the world went on lockdown. Club Quarantine provided a virtual community for dance music lovers to gather and enjoy live sets in the comfort of their own homes, with the duo putting on sets as long as 12+ hours. The series, which still continues to this day, finds Gabriel & Dresden curating mixes that combine their own deep cuts along with dance music classics and newer favorites for an all-encompassing experience.
Although Josh Gabriel unfortunately suffered a serious health problem last year, leaving him unable to tour for the time being, it didn’t stop Dave Dresden from taking the spirit of Club Quarantine on tour as a solo act and performing on behalf of the duo. He touched down in Indianapolis on March 12 for an open-to-close set at Black Circle Brewing that wowed the crowd and left me with my jaw agape.
Presented by Progression Indy, the event was filled with nonstop tunes and high spirits from start to finish.
When Indianapolis brings through coveted electronic acts, the decision to attend is a no-brainer – especially when the events take place in small, intimate bar settings like Black Circle Brewing. Being a daytime event, the music started in the early afternoon with a fantastic set from local DJ Espinoza, who completely set the vibe for the rest of the day and played tracks that got everybody dancing as they started to pile in and fill up the venue.
When it was time for Dave Dresden to come on, everybody lit up with excitement. From the jump, he played hit after hit and didn’t once cease to bring forth heaps of energy. Near the beginning of his set, he mixed RÜFÜS DU SOL’s beloved track “Innerbloom,” and hearing a room full of people singing along was a feeling that couldn’t be beaten. I already knew right off the bat that I was in for a real treat, but once he played that track, I was completely locked in.
Some more personal standout moments from Dave’s performance came when he mixed totally unsuspecting rock tracks.
One tune he played early on in his set was a remix of Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ “By The Way,” and I remember feeling taken aback at the inclusion of the early 2000s rock hit. Somehow, it simultaneously felt like a vibe switch, yet also a perfectly natural addition to the set. That feeling hit tenfold when I heard the first lines to Arctic Monkeys‘ “When the Sun Goes Down” play out, causing me to physically gasp. That song comes from one of my favorite albums of all time, and hearing it mixed into an already mesmerizing trance set felt like pure euphoria. As someone with an immense passion for alternative rock music, I cherished the moment of hearing a song from that genre make its way into an electronic set.
Another remarkable moment from Dave’s set came when he played “As the Rush Comes” by the duo’s alias Motorcycle, and once again, it felt as though every single voice in the place came together in unison to sing along and soak up the passion that radiates from the song. Any trance lover can attest to the fact that this is an absolute classic, and hearing it live was undoubtedly a surreal moment for all who were there to witness it. On the topic of classics, he also played a blissful trance remix of Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone,” which stood out as another peak moment of the day for me.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of seeing Dave Dresden had nothing to do with the music but everything to do with the energy that encapsulated him.
You can see when Dave performs that it takes him over entirely – it’s clear that he feeds off of the crowd’s high energy, and he uses it to drive the way he plays his set. It’s something about the way he expertly mixes each track into one another feels so effortless, and I can’t recall a single point during the show when the crowd wasn’t dancing or vibing out. His vivacity and stage presence was larger than life, and that made for an experience I won’t forget. While Josh’s presence was certainly missed, I feel grateful to have gotten to see one-half of this legendary duo in such a small, personal setting.
With amazing music, drinks a-flowing, and delicious quesadillas provided by GoldLeaf and Beacon Off The Path, this was an incredible experience overall. If you’re located in Indy – or ever happen to find yourself in the area – and are able to catch a live show at Black Circle Brewing, or if you have the ability to see a Gabriel & Dresden show, I can’t recommend either enough!