Thomas Gold Friday, May 24, 2013 Maya Day & Night Club
After a solid day of watching The Walking Dead, thanks to Netflix and various other websites I would prefer not to get in trouble, I found myself at Maya for the first time to see Thomas Gold hit the decks.
Like The Walking Dead, many people awaited outside of Maya in a hungry, shambling line, only they were hungry for EDM. After some complications and confusion, I finally made my way through the doors into Maya. Before I walked in, I happened to take a quick turn back to see Axis Radius silent, dead, and almost desolate across the street. It was odd to see it so empty--not even open, at that. Steve LeVine Entertainment (SLE) had a new center for EDM: Maya.
The set-up of the venue resembles a Vegas-style club. It was impressive to see, but yet the majority of people in the crowd were still those who were typically found at Axis Radius or Wild Knight already. Of course, the drinks seemed a tad overpriced, but I allowed my mind to just absorb everything around me.
The pool was spectacular, though I was disappointed at how distant it felt from the DJ booth; I think it'll be impossible to fully enjoy both at the same time. But there's plenty of space, and the go-go dancers last night were painted gold, which is a nice touch. Thomas Gold. Nice catch, Maya.
Regardless of what I'm saying, the venue is nice. You get the picture: Lights, bar, dance floor, food, pool; Maya seems to have it all. But the venue is nothing if the acts and music can't support a good time, and Maya seemed to have that under control when Gold took the decks at 12:05 am. Of course, even before he stepped in many in the crowd were dancing chaotically to music, shuffling, and grinding--I even caught a couple salsa dancing. At least it looked like salsa dancing.
Gold took the decks in an environment that was as new to much of the crowd as it was to him, and got started with several EDM anthems to get the crowd into the music. His own rendition of Calvin Harris' take on Florence + The Machine's "Sweet Nothing" got the crowd singing. And of course Gold dropped his own style into the already remixed song, adding a melodic, trancy and progressive house Gold polish.
So many songs were played, in fact, that any true EDM lover might have questioned the notion of the DJ in the first place. Songs like Ellie Goulding's "Lights" and Nero's "Promises" swept over the crowd. It was as though Gold needed--or at least felt like he needed--to drop some anthems to get the crowd, which was half-fans and half-novices, going.
I suppose that's a good call, but hearing those songs over and over makes me worry for the quality of most EDM shows. Talent cannot simply be displayed through playing others' music. One needs to captivate the crowd with their own style.
But don't fret: Eventually Gold began to drop in his own hits, including "Sing 2 Me" and a dash of "Star 69." For the most part, though, the majority of songs played and the music that most swept the crowd were those omnipresent anthems. It was simply a party, a collection of several anthems throughout the EDM scene with a Gold twist to them. With Gold's Fanfare 50 fast approaching, my only conclusion could be that possibly this was a practice for his broadcast on Sirius XM--or maybe this was just the vibe Gold wanted and chose for the night.
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No worries: It was fun and Gold's talent couldn't be tested or doubted. He's a brilliant DJ and producer, dropping what most would call bombs and making clean, almost perfect melodic transitions.
When leaving Maya, I faced its older brother, Axis Radius, once more. Maya's great, but I couldn't help but feel a bit saddened and nostalgic. EDM has moved across the street, and acts like Thomas Gold have gone it.
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Thomas Gold at Maya. The Crowd: The practical Scottsdale crowd mixed with a few douchebags here, some sugar daddies over there, and a blob of girls who wear too much make-up. Random Notebook Dump: Why did The Walking Dead not have a night club scene where everyone raged so hard they turned into zombies? That's something someone has got to think about. Okay...too much zombie stuff lately. Personal Bias: Yes, venues are cool and can have a certain vibe and feel to everything, but it doesn't always work for me. I don't like to have to dress up to enjoy music I love. I like going in what's comfy. Heck, I could be standing in dog crap and still love the moment if the music was on full blast.