After arriving a bit later than I’d planned, I joined the modest and, at that time, somewhat reserved crowd at San Francisco’s The Mezzanine Oct. 4 and made a beeline to the center of the dancefloor. The local opener, Kid Alien, was ignoring his watch and working what crowd he had at his disposal into a Pryda-ready hum of energy.
Jeremy Olander then took over, and his set bounced from beat to beat in the deep house realm as the strips of nylon strung across the room reminded the crowd whom they were here to see: the undeniable Pryda Friends.
Despite being known as a premier purveyor of progressive sounds, he continued to lay down quite the groovy house set, as did most of the Friends as they ramped up the energy, much to the delight of the very house-driven San Francisco scene. I’d say this showing would’ve made the dirtybird crew and legendary OM Records proud.
Olander continued just as Kid Alien and I returned from the patio after cooling off from his set, and he proceeded to massage the ever-growing crowd into one massive, unified groove. Contrary to what I’d expected coming in, all the Pryda Friends dropped deep jams all night, proving that these guys aren’t simply popular producers with a historical knack for high energy–they were skilled and well versed DJs who know that reading a crowd is roughly half of their job, and they did that job well. The Friends played pick after pleasurable pick, each absolutely perfect for their respective moments.
Olander then slowly began to intensify the vibe with increasingly edgier selections while leaving room for more acceleration from headliner Fehrplay as if they had planned this beforehand like a BPM relay race.
Fehrplay took to the decks next, and he worked the party into something major. Hands were up, bodies moved, and Mezzanine moved with them to these out-of-towners the way it normally would for the dirtybirds and their rabid local crew.
Fehrplay was the crowning performance in a night that both delivered on expectations and delighted with pleasing surprises. I wall-flowered it and half-watched Fehrplay while spending the rest of my attention on the crowd, which grew in size and sway by the minute.
I, after much soul-searching to decide what it is I really do, consider myself a connoisseur of the modern electronic homo sapiens mating call, and these upright walkers were downright titillating from beginning to end. Will you catch me at the next Pryda Friends show in The Bay? Absolutely.