Are you an "opener" or a "closer"?

Tips and techniques of the trade

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gatorgal
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Are you an "opener" or a "closer"?

#1 Post by gatorgal » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:46 am

When I first started DJing, I only wanted to spin sets later in the evening... for me there was less pressure in maintain or building a certain energy as opposed to starting it in the first place. There was also less people around to see me screw up. :)

I've recently had a lot of slots where I start the night (or the room), which has it's own pitfalls and benefits. I've been trying very hard to give a good room to the DJ who follows me... I feel like my job is "done" if I can do so. Kinda like giving a good handoff during a relay race can mean the difference between winning and losing. But I digress...

Do you consider yourself a better DJ when you "open" or "close" the night? Do you have any preferences? (knowing that what you prefer and what you're good at isn't always the same thing). Does it matter?

Tina 8)
"I'm here to kick a little DJ a$$!"
~ Foreman on That 70s Show

mousethief
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#2 Post by mousethief » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:55 am

HAHAHAHA... ask that in a private school!!!

Kalman
"The cause of reform is hurt, not helped, when an activist makes an idiotic suggestion."

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gatorgal
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#3 Post by gatorgal » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:33 am

mousethief wrote:HAHAHAHA... ask that in a private school!!!

Kalman
Okay, I don't want to know. But I do know that you need therapy. :)

Tina 8)
"I'm here to kick a little DJ a$$!"
~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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wheresmygravy
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#4 Post by wheresmygravy » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:37 am

In Dallas we have the ability to OPEN and CLOSE the night. Since we usually Dj the whole night. 3 hours, if you screw up there is no relief pitcher to come bail you out. If I had to pick I would prefer the later set.

I actually like DJ'ing the whole night instead of 60 to 90 minute shifts. I think I have gotten used to being able to flow up and down multiple times in a night. Now when I DJ for a 90 minute shift at an exchange or something, it feels like I have one or two cycles and I have to think a lot more about what to play.

mousethief
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#5 Post by mousethief » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:50 am

One more reason to love Dallas - you don't have to share the night.

Kalman
"The cause of reform is hurt, not helped, when an activist makes an idiotic suggestion."

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#6 Post by Nate Dogg » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:20 pm

mousethief wrote:One more reason to love Dallas - you don't have to share the night.

Kalman
How many active DJs does DSDS have? you, Jerry, and Don? I imagine there might be more, but whenever I visit, you guys are the only people I see in the booth, at least lately.

Nathan

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#7 Post by mousethief » Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:02 pm

Jerry, Don & myself are primaries. Dan, Tommy & recently Jonathan have taken slots as well. DSDS only holds 2-3 events each month, so we can be more selective and free with our DJs, which holds to my philosophy of limiting an event's DJ rotation as much as possible.

Kalman
"The cause of reform is hurt, not helped, when an activist makes an idiotic suggestion."

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djstarr
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#8 Post by djstarr » Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:24 pm

I get to close a 5 hour marathon fundraiser dance this Saturday - Speakeasy theme, everybody will play a lot of Charleston, I expect folks to be dead tired by 1 am when I go on, however I'm looking forward to it.

I think opening is harder in a way, but more rewarding if you can get the crowd into it; if you bomb later in the night folks will just go home. However you can pretend they are just tired......lol

We ususally split 45's; I've found it pretty hard to do 3 hours when I get the evening to myself; the last hour drags on -- I think the ideal time for a set is 2 hours.

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wheresmygravy
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#9 Post by wheresmygravy » Fri Apr 23, 2004 3:32 pm

djstarr wrote:I get to close a 5 hour marathon fundraiser dance this Saturday - Speakeasy theme, everybody will play a lot of Charleston, I expect folks to be dead tired by 1 am when I go on, however I'm looking forward to it.
Three Words: "TANDEM BLUES CHARLESTON" hehehe

We had a notoriously bad dancer (who thinks he's amazing) pull tandem Charleston on my partner a couple of years ago at a Blues Bar. BPM - about 85! :shock: It was not pretty.....

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#10 Post by KevinSchaper » Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:04 pm

We're just starting to break up the 4 hour set thing we've had going in Portland for years.. more with trading than twin 2 hr sets though, cuz I think it stinks having to choose either opening or closing.

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#11 Post by yedancer » Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:06 pm

I always prefer to dance when the most regular lindy hoppers are present. That is usually toward the last 3rd of the night in San Diego.
-Jeremy

It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

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#12 Post by LindyChef » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:55 pm

yedancer wrote:I always prefer to dance when the most regular lindy hoppers are present. That is usually toward the last 3rd of the night in San Diego.
Ahh yes. Lindy hoppers take fashionably late to the extreme.

Personally, I would much rather close a night than open a night ... I like the challenge of keeping as many people possible dancing as long as possible.

Nando
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#13 Post by Nando » Sat Apr 24, 2004 12:28 am

Easy answer: I just concentrate on doing the best job I can at the time of my shift.

When I used to do Stand-up comedy (I know hard to believe that I can be funny,) some of the comics would always complain. They never wanted to open up and warm up the crowd, then if they got a later slot they hate it if they followed someone who killed the audience, or they'd complain if they'd have to follow someone who just bombed and now the audience is cold. Truth is, as long as they had a bad set, they'd already have their excuse laid out - it's the audience's fault or the other comics before them.

Not that anyone here would have the same attitude that the comic do. Their profession is has a lot more insecurities and hang-ups.

Both have their pros and cons. I'd probably prefer closing a night in NYC mainly because more of the advanced dancers and more of my friends show up later in the night. Plus it gives me a little while to relax before my set, watch the crowd and listen to the DJ before me. It lets me see what's working and what I should do to mix it up.

However, Opening a set is more of a challenge. In NY (as I'm sure in other cities) most of the crowd (if there's any) in the very beginning is loaded with newbies, beginners and older folks who have different tastes. It gives me a little more of a challenge to mix it up and get a vibe going while the crowd trickles in. Plus it feels good when you can leave the booth with a happy and crowded dance floor.

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#14 Post by Dr. Feelgood » Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:56 pm

Oh you're funny all right!

But I think that opening and closing each has it's own set of challenges. Starting an event can be beeyotch, since a crowd may not have arrived in force yet, then you don't want to play your best stuff for an empty room and your flow can get affected...but if you CAN hit that stride then as the masses begin to walk through the door, you've got the joint jumping!

Closing out and evening of course can mean following someone else that has set a different mood other than what you have in mind or they've absolutely played a KILLER set ..now you've got to step up to the plate and deliver.

Pressure, and I think both kinds are fun.

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#15 Post by swinginstyle » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:55 am

Just thinking about this subject gives me a headache. My worst fear as a closer, or just following someone is duplicating a song already played. My memory sucks and I don't retain things easily.
Don't take swing underground!!

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