Show Review: Wolfgang Gartner at House of Blues

Los Angeles based DJ takes priority over studies and sleep

S. Handly, USD Radio

This Thursday, March 31, was an important day in my college career. With a micro-economics midterm on 11:00 a.m. the next day, I had to make a choice. To attend, or not to attend. I’m not talking about whether or not I should take the midterm – I’m talking of course about the Wolfgang Gartner show that took place at the House of Blues that same night. Needless to say, I was up pretty late studying for that midterm since I couldn’t resist my chance to finally see Wolfgang do a show here in San Diego.

The House of Blues was absolutely packed. Since the House of Blues had not announced an opening act, it was a pleasant surprise when Felix Cartal took the stage and absolutely killed it. Dropping some of his famous tracks such as The Joker, and Love, he did a great job setting the stage for Wolfgang. I would venture to say that he nearly outperformed the main act.

An awesome LED set-up awaited Wolfgang’s arrival. He was surrounded by L-shaped lights and fog machines, setting the perfect mood for a show that takes place in the dark House of Blues. When Wolfgang finally took the stage around midnight, he kept the party going until 2 a.m. Well, kind of. The place thinned out around 1:30, but there were still plenty of energetic people dancing away their final ounces of energy up until the final beat.

Throughout the night Gartner brought out a heavy arsenal, dropping track after track on the crowd. Gartner’s track selection was different than I expected. Departing from the Funk Nasty, Illmerica, Heartbreaker, Push & Rise stuff that he does so well, he stuck to his older stuff like Conscindo and Undertaker  which is definitely not his best. I would have loved to hear him spin a couple of those tracks. He played some great songs by other DJ’s though, which definitely saved his act. In my opinion, he did not let himself shine.

Overall, I have to say that my first House of Blues experience was awesome. However, I lost the intimacy I felt at some other DJ sets I’ve seen. Since the House of Blues is so big, Gartner had to be posted high above the crowd on the main floor so that the 21+ area on the balcony could see him as well. It was a tough compromise that the House of Blues had to make to please everyone who attended.

Once the show finally winded down and I ascended from the mysterious House of Blues basement I took a huge breath of fresh air, preparing myself for my inevitable next visit. When I arrived home at  3:45 a.m. in the morning, it was probably just about time to start studying for that micro-economics midterm.

S. Handly, USD Radio

By: Spencer Handly