Phoenix was a haven for raves back in the ‘90s. During the zenith of electronic dance music's popularity more than 25 years ago, all-night dance parties happened on the regular
at local warehouses and venues such as The Icehouse, typically attracting hundreds of people eager to get their groove on.
The fashion was colorful, the beats were potent and the vibes were contagious. DJs like Z-Trip, Pete Salaz, Markus Schulz and CL McSpadden were all frequent performers at Phoenix raves during the ‘90s and have since become a legendary part of local EDM scene lore, as have the parties.
This weekend, long-running local rave Mary Xmas, which dates back to 1999, will stage its latest edition
at Club Endgame in Mesa. In honor of the occasion, we’re taking a look back at photos of the Valley rave scene of the ‘90s from the archives of local artist Ramy Hosseinie
and the Phoenix New Times.
Crank up some Josh Wink, put on your JNCO jeans or some kandi and get ready to experience Phoenix’s rave new world of the 1990s.
Note: Phoenix New Times would like to thank Ramy Hosseinie and Matt Dunn for the use of their photos.
Tripping the light fantastic at Electric Highway rave in August 1997.
Michael Clark, also known as DJ Mykill, works the turntables at the Humble rave in February 1998.
Connecting with fellow ravers at the aptly named Connect party in February 1998.
Renowned electronic dance music DJ/producer Josh Wink performs at the Kind rave in June 1999.
Ravers giving out backrubs at the Simple party in 1997.
Rave DJs from the '90s were a different breed.
A circa-1990s photo of a local female raver from the Phoenix New Times archives.
Phoenix New Times archives
The scene at the Armageddon rave in July 1997.
Phoenix rave scene legend CL McSpadden DJs at the Dual Processor party in November 1998.
Selling some kandi jewelry at the Detonation rave in June 1999.
Yes, that's a Nintendo 64 controller he's holding.
Phoenix New Times archives
Keoki Franconi performs during the Skule rave at The Dome in November 1998.
Pacifiers were a big thing in the '90s rave scene.
Local DJ legend Pete Salaz in the mix at the DYWD? party in November 1998.
Bunny Eachon, the frontman of electronic music act Rabbit in the Moon, performs at the Discotheque rave at The Icehouse in May 1997.
Looking stylish at the Simple 3 rave in January 1998.
The scene at the British Tecniques rave up in the Happy Valley area north of Phoenix in October 1997.
A vibrant scene from the aptly named Color rave in June 1998.
Eddie "Flashin" Fowlkes performing a house music set at Skule in November 1998.
Love on the dance floor at the Connect rave in February 1998.
Mashup king Z-Trip, who made his name in Phoenix, DJs at a Valley rave in January 1999.
A glimpse at a 1999 all-night party at the Icehouse in downtown Phoenix, a regular host to raves of that era.
Lady Kier does her thing on the turntables during Kind 6 at Tempe spot Pompeii in February 1999.
Valley residents Katie Pegler (left) and Carminda Loleng (right) dressed up a blue fairies for the Resonance party in October 1999.
Space Girl (a.k.a. “the queen of acid trance") performs during the Kaboom rave at Tucson Warehouse & Transfer Co. in July 1999.
Raver fashion on display in 1999.
It's all dayglo everything at the Positive Energy rave in March 1998.
Gary Menichiello in the mix at the Summer Love rave in July 1998.
Phoenix raves back in the '90s were a vibe.
Markus Schulz performs at The Nile Theater in Mesa during the inaugural Mary Xmas rave in 1999.