The first gig I did with Tera was, quite possibly, the worlds fanciest Quinceañera. I’m not joking. This family flew a 12+ piece band out from Los Angeles to perform the girls party and that wasn’t all! They had rented a space out at a museum in San Antonio and build a huge tent for the event to take place. In fact, the tent was so large that they had to cut down an oak tree at the museum just to accommodate it! Imagine that for a second. Your party is such a big deal that a museum is willing to cut down an oak tree that’s hundreds of years old (I’m only guessing here, I didn’t ask for the trees birth certificate) just so you can dance all over the ground where it once lived. It was that kind of party and I was BLOWN AWAY to get to DJ.
It was my first time working with The Red Hot Band, or any band really and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The band played a 45 minute set and then it was my job to keep the audience dancing for 15-20 minutes until the band returned from their break. Now, if you’ve ever been a DJ who has to transition from the energy of a full band to you pressing play on a track, you already know how hard this can be but wait, theirs more!!! When the band went on their break there were cirque performers who came out to entertain people in a completely different room which of course took 100% of the people off the dance floor and left me 1 song in feeling like a total failure.
There were maybe 1,400 people at this party and zero of them were interested in dancing to the DJ, me, in the other room. I remember thinking two very specific things: 1. Carson, who was running sound, must think I’m a terrible DJ and 2. Tera is never going to hire me again. By the grace of God and Katy Perry, a cool remix of “Firework” brough a flood of people back to the dance floor once the cirque performers finished. I started feeling good again and mixed in some other fun high energy remixes until the band returned, looking slightly impressed that there were people still dancing.
We finished that gig around midnight and I’ll never forget the exhilarating feeling I had seeing a dance floor packed with people both when I was DJ’ing and when I was a part of The Red Hot Band sets throughout the night. At one point, during “Timber” we all stoped and took a band selfie with the audience. It’s a memory I hold dear and a picture that I still have to this day. At the end of the night, the band went to the bar for drinks, which is weird because they never do that, but I stayed and tore down my DJ rig. I didn’t feel like I was a part of the group yet so I just kept to myself. The truth is, I was happy. It was fine that I was by myself tearing down equipment, it didn’t matter. I knew that I was doing what I loved.
The next morning we had a 4am flight for reasons I do still don’t understand. I barely made it to the lobby in time but it turns out Brad Sharpe, one of the singers in the band, was even later than I was so it was no big deal…Brad… Love that guy…