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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jesse Rose Runs into Technical Difficulties at Public Works

Posted By on Thu, Nov 25, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Jesse Rose at Public Works last night.
  • Jesse Rose at Public Works last night.
Jessie Rose

November 24, 2010

Public Works

The night before Thanksgiving is consistently rated one of the best nights for going out, with minimal consequences the following day due to the fact that eating is the main task at hand. If you were one of the many people out in San Francisco last night taking advantage of the legitimized weeknight partying, Public Works in the Mission was the perfect place to let loose. Wednesday night's billing saw two headliners, with UK producer Jesse Rose and San Francisco all-star Claude VonStroke each getting two full hours to serve up a feast for the pre-Thanksgiving tech-house revelers. Though Public Works is still in its infancy, it is quickly gaining credibility as having the potential to compete with comparably sized local venues for top electronic artists. But last night's show was not without some kinks.

On an East Coast-like cold night, the doorman and bouncers played no games with holding the line. The Thanksgiving theme was omnipresent throughout, starting with a female fan who came decked out as a pilgrim, wearing an all-black costume and carrying a turkey purse (picture a rubber chicken, or in this case a turkey, with a handle and stuffed with essentials). Once inside, patrons who arrived prior to 10:30 were treated to a free "Thanksgiving Cocktail" -- a generously poured Skye Vodka libation to help kill the chill and warm up the holiday spirits. Setting the stage for the double headliners were Dirty Bird's J.Phlip and Sunset/Pacific Sound's Solar. Last night, Solar was tasked with getting the crowd warmed up for Jesse Rose. Unlike some of his Sunset parties, which feature more deep house, Solar's set was definitely more in line with Rose and VonStroke's more prevalent tech house sound, and was well-received by the crowd. The projected video graphics that accompanied the music had a darker theme than at other Public Works shows, complimenting the music well. By around 11:45, the crowd began to swell, and the lines to get in and check coats were consistently 20-30 people deep. To accommodate this crowd, the venue opened up the upstairs balcony to offer another vantage point and provide some relief for the dance floor.

Right on the dot, Jesse Rose made his way to the DJ booth and shared hugs with everyone there. As he began to transition in, his first song provided a preview of what the night's experience would include, with the word "fidget" consistently being laced into the music. Unfortunately, during his first full song, the sound died during what appeared to be a change out of a deck. This was the first of several "technical troubles," as Rose would later explain on the PA mic. Following the unexpected pause, Rose quickly reset the crowd and built everyone back up. He got everyone going with some fun house beats, which, through the Funktion One sound system, had fans throughout grinning and shaking. On the perimeter of the dance floor, where it was noticeably cooler, there were a number of people showing off their best moves in a dance circle -- a new sight (for us) at Public Works.

In true Jesse Rose fashion, the music began to shift and cross genres as his set progressed. It stayed primarily in the tech-house style, but had deep, techno, tribal and even some electro elements spread throughout. Unfortunately, there was some static and loss of sound, but Rose was a professional and showman every time, getting on the mic and using it as an opportunity to interact with the crowd. Even with those musical gaps, the crowd's energy remained consistently high, and everyone in the audience seemed to admire his mixing and song selection, though parts of Jesse's set felt like a roller coaster ride. On one hand, he kept the audience guessing on what was coming next -- a huge plus -- but also transitioned songs very quickly. He closed with his infectious sample-based head-bobber "Well Now," and Claude VonStroke came on to an amped up full house. Though this was probably not his ideal set, I would definitely give Rose another shot the next time he rolls through town. 

We set out to review Rose, but couldn't help but stay longer because of the banging tunes Claude was dropping from the get-go. We weren't the only ones who stayed -- at least going by the lines to check coats and buy tickets standing well after 2:30 a.m.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: This was my first live Jesse Rose show.

Overheard in the crowd: From another DJ: "sometimes a guy who's a producer is more centered on his record labels' tracks, and is not as focused on performing for the crowd."

Random notebook dump: In addition to the Pilgrim spotting, there was a guy dressed in an unusual native American-style shirt, who looked as though he was doing a rain dance. He bounced around the floor with loads of enthusiasm and got as much air as anyone there last night.

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Lance Talsky


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