Best Place to See Turntablists Phoenix 2013 - The Monarch Theatre
122 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Neither Sean "Senbad" Badger nor Pete "Supermix" Salaz are particular shy about their love for DJ Qbert. So after the Monarch Theatre co-owners, both of whom are considered ultra-talented DJs in their own right, got word that the renowned turntablist was eager to perform at their joint last November, Badger estimates it took "like two seconds" to book the event. After all, showcasing influential DJs and turntable superstars like Qbert is one of many reasons they opened the Monarch back in 2012. "Our first reaction was, 'Hell, yeah, we'd love to do that,'" Badger says. "We didn't go looking for the show; they came to us." It's something that happens frequently, as numerous selectors specialized in turntablism (a DJ subgenre from the 1980s where performers manipulate records, decks, and mixers to create a dizzying array of scratching and pimp sounds) have approached Badger and Salaz about potential gigs. Power 98.3's M2 has amazed crowds here with his vinyl trickery, as have fellow Valley scratch gurus Logan "Elecment" Howard, Fresh 85, and Akshen. And NYC's Roli Rho practically melted his wax in April with lightning-quick hands and phenomenal moves. So why do these scratch kings come to Monarch? Its high-end 30,000-watt sound system doesn't hurt. Plus, other club owners tend to shy away from the old-school art form in favor of more trendy DJ sounds, whereas Badger and Salaz are big on keeping the tradition alive. "It brings back that early era of DJs," Badger says, "And exposes old traditions to some younger generations as well." Word.