The ‘Morgan Page Presents 3D’ tour rolled into Philly on Friday, October 19th for a sold-out show at Soundgarden Hall.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding the tour, not just for the talented line-up of DJs that included Maor Levi and Audien, but for the exciting 3D production. Perhaps that is why fans flocked in droves to the venue on Saturday night, opting to spend their ticket money on this show instead of one of the numerous other shows around Philadelphia the same evening (Fiona Apple, Drake, Cold War Kids, Orchard Lounge, and Rusko, just to name a few).
Mother Nature was kind enough to hold off the rain for us, but moments after we set foot inside the venue, a brief but intense downpour occurred. The rain might have slightly delayed a few fans arrival at Soundgarden Hall but it was already filled to a healthy capacity at 10pm.
The 3D LED production altered the set up for SGH on the night. The stage was used solely for the 3D screens and lights, moving the DJ booth to the dance floor in front of the stage. A portion of the dance floor to towards the back of the venue (by the 21+ lounge) was also blocked off for the production crew.
Maor Levi was already whipping the crowd into a frenzy as we made our way across the dance floor to the stage. Although Morgan Page’s headlining set was the only 3D portion of the show, many fans were already wearing their 3D glasses (that had been handed out at the door).
Levi is no stranger to SGH, having played the venue twice in the past, but this was the first time he was asked to play to the early crowd. The Israeli DJ/producer (on Above & Beyond’s ‘Anjunabeats’ label) handled it like a pro. When a big name touring DJ is given an early slot, their task is different from that of a local opening DJ. In our opinion, they have more license to kick things into full gear from the moment they hit the decks.
Levi did just that, dropping some great trance and electro tracks, which set the bar for the evening at a high benchmark.
Although young (by some standards), Audien has a solid five years of production experience under his belt. When Ferry Corsten’s ‘Flashover Recordings’ label released Audien’s debut single “Rise & Shine”, a few years ago, he was only 17 years old. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of trance and progressive house releases (on numerous labels) for the producer from Connecticut. Not satisfied with producing alone, he has also honed his performance craft, wowwing crowds from coast to coast (and beyond).
We were thoroughly impressed with his skills and track selection but part way into his set it was off to the green room backstage for our interview with Morgan Page.
We had to cut the interview a little short, but it’s hard to complain that his ‘meet & greet’ time ran a little long. He was very gracious backstage speaking with his fans, taking photos with them, and singing autographs and it’s great seeing artists give back to those who support their music career. You can check out the interview right here:
By the time we gathered our gear and moved back into the main room of the venue, it was packed to the gills. The 21+ area at the back was especially full, a clear sign that SGH’s new liquor license is not going to waste.
Because of the 3D LED production for Page’s headlining set, flash photography (anywhere in the venue) was prohibited once his performance began. When coupled with fog machines, a variety of lighting that ranged from bright to dark without warning, and no photo pit (or stage access) it made getting DJ and crowd photos a little tricky for the remainder of the evening. They wouldn’t have been 3D anyway.
Although he is known primarily for progressive house and electro, Morgan Page didn’t limit his set to one genre or another, dropping in some trance and even some trap music. Due to the lighting, the fog machines, and his location in the make-shift DJ booth, it was very difficult to see him from the mid point of the dance floor to the back of the venue. Hearing some fans complain about this kind of made us chuckle. We fondly recall the days when a DJ was tucked away in the DJ booth, before social media, where many fans didn’t even know what some of their favorite DJs looked like.
The new breed of ‘concert venue EDM fans’ is so used to pressing up towards a stage, with all eyes facing forward, that they almost don’t know what to do if they can’t see the DJ. Even if their view of him has been replaced by a visually stunning 3D LED show (that was developed for Michael Jackson)! Despite a few complaints about the set-up, and feeling packed in like a sardine, almost everyone we spoke with told us they loved the show and having such a strong line-up of talent to go along with the visual aesthetics of the tour. We were also impressed with the show but the crowd size became a little much for us and around 130am, we ducked out a little early. Not surprisingly, there were still people trying to talk their way into the sold-out venue when we departed.
[Photos by D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view some additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):