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This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary since Netsky (Boris Daenen) and bandmates Steve Script, Babl (Keys) and Michael Schack have done their thing together on stage live as a band. It was also Netsky’s first live show in San Francisco, which made this particular night out all the more special in my book.
Anticipation mildly describes my emotions leading up to Saturday night. While trekking my way over the bay bridge in commute to SF to The Regency Ballroom, I didn’t know what to expect. Considering that Pop The Dream in Oakland was currently hosting thousands of fans, I wasn’t too confident on the amount of people that would show up. Happy to say that Netsky's night exceeded all expectations—hands down. As much of a cliché as it sounds, I haven’t felt that alive, liberated and connected to an EDM show in a long time.
netsky at the regency ballroom crowd
When 10:30 pm hit and Netsky didn’t walk on the stage and begin playing, I started clocking the time. 10:31, nothing. 10:32, nothing… 10:38, gold…the lights dimmed and “Love Has Gone” (off his latest album 2 via Hospital Records) started to play—the party started, the ball was rolling in the right direction. Netsky’s order of songs throughout the night maintained a steady energy. From “Give & Take,” “Wanna Die For You” and “Get Away From Here” to tracks “We Can Only Live Today” and “Come Alive,” Netsky didn’t just drop records off 2, he also surprised fans with older material like “Secret Agent” and his remix of Miike Snow’s “Black & Blue.”
Netsky ended his stellar set with his remix to Skream’s record “Anticipate” featuring Sam Frank. With Netsky on vocals for the first and only time of the night singing:
I will see you soon, I’ll be waiting at the other end, take your time coming through, you will never have to do this again, I will show you all, lessons I’ve learned will help to guide, I’ll come running when you call but now just stay inside.
The romantic vibe floated throughout the ballroom and slowly transitioned into uncontrollable energy when the drum & bass melodies dropped.
Following the end of “Anticipate,” MC Script thanked the crowd for the energy and before you knew it Netsky, Script, Babl and Schnak were simply walking off the stage—as if their set ended. Those of us still wanting more knew “Anticipate” couldn’t be the ending to this magical night. It didn't take long before the crowd started shouting, “NETSKY! ENCORE! NETSKY! ENCORE!” and within minutes the group hit the stage again and delivered an epic two track encore. It was the final record, Netsky's remix to Rusko’s “Everyday,” that continues to resonate and put the biggest smile across my face. I wasn’t expecting it and when I heard “the sun shines everyday” and the spectacular build up…it was emotional overload and restored the energy in a matter of seconds. Like BOOM—my hair was flinging in all directions, the girls around me were standing in their seats raging like no other and the crowd on the dancefloor—the yelling and excitement—looked like an earthquake had hit it. Out of all the standout moments in Netsky’s set that night their finale wins hands down. The aura in The Regency Ballroom just consumed everyone, I didn't see a person not moving. It was a moment to remember, indeed. As the record sadly finished, Netsky hopped on the mic with his humbled presence and a big smile on his face and thanked the crowd; applauding San Francisco for their support of drum & bass.
That night I realized that drum and bass fans, despite being a genre that walks in the shadows of progressive house and trance, go hard. Out of all the shows I’ve been to over the years, this was without a doubt one of the best fucking times I've had out. Netsky trumped Above & Beyond, Netsky trumped Ferry Corsten, Netsky trumped Steve Aoki and Netsky trumped Swedish House Mafia. The show was impeccable.
I highly recommend those of you who don’t listen to drum & bass to give it a listen. Start with Netsky. Hospital Records signed a gem to their roster—Boris Daenen is a genius at his craft.