Lately, SRB has been a hot venue as far as trance acts go. Esscala Entertainment has been bringing in star after star with no signs of letting up anytime soon. Finally, it was John O’Callaghan’s turn to grace SRB with his presence. Hailing from Ireland, John O’Callaghan is one of the top trance artists in the world. He has performed at countless music festivals and venues across the globe, showcasing the sound of his Subculture label wherever he goes. Also joining in for the fun were Pirate Radio and Mike Saint-Jules. John O’Callaghan delivered a high-energy trance set and Mike Saint-Jules finished off the night with an exciting set filled with trance classics.
Kicking off the night was Pirate Radio, a group that combines EDM with live instruments. Armed with a keyword and electric guitar, Pirate Radio gave us an exciting opening set that was packed with musicality and cool vibes. Their unique performance set the tone for the night and kept the crowd excited. Pirate Radio did an excellent job of raising the bpm until it was time for JOC. By this time, SRB was packed with trance fans who were eager to see the one and only John O’Callaghan.
It was around 12:30 when the Subculture label boss took to the decks. John pulled no punches, starting his set with the Mark Sherry remix of Max Graham’s “The Evil ID” and making the crowd cheer. JOC kept up the intensity by playing hard hitting tune after hard hitting tune. Massive songs like his own remix of Giuseppe Ottaviani’s vocal gem “Heal This Empty Heart” perked the crowd up. JOC even threw in some psy bangers like the John Askew remix of “Narcotic Influence” by Empirion to change things up a bit.
Fairly early on in his set, the music had to be stopped for a brief time. However, once John got the okay to continue, the crowd grew more excited than before. The track selection ranged from uplifting tunes like the Aly & Fila remix of Luke Bond and Roxanne Emery’s “One Fire” to floor-destroying songs like “Mechanism” by John Askew. Naturally, John threw in several of his own tracks such as a hard-hitting version of “Big Sky” and an infectious mashup of “Stresstest” with Nadia Ali’s “Rapture.” The wealth of vocal tunes kept the crowd singing along throughout his set. JOC finished to a roar of applause from the crowd that had hardly diminished in size.
Rounding out the night was veteran trance producer and DJ, Mike Saint-Jules. One of the top DJs and Producers on the East Coast, Mike Saint-Jules has had releases on some of the top trance labels in the world. Although his sets are always high quality, tonight, he took things to another level. It’s not easy to close for someone like John O’Callaghan but Mike showed why he is one of the top DJs in the area by constructing a thrilling and tasteful set consisting current tunes and trance classics. Songs like Ben Nicky’s “Brave Heart” and the Mark Sherry remix of Giuseppe Ottaviani and Aly & Fila’s “Brilliant People” pointed towards the future while classics like the Paul van Dyk remix of “Cream” by Blank and Jones gave us a blast from the past. To top things off, Mike even played the classics on vinyl! Classics like “False Light” by Marco V and “Sixty Nine Ways” by Cloud 69 drew shouts of excitement from the crowd. Those who were stayed behind for Mike’s full set were treated to a masterful performance.
All in all, the show was a success. All three acts gave exciting performances. The combination of Pirate Radio’s live instruments, John’s thrashing beats and Mike Saint-Jules’ memorable classic set made the night a special one. Be sure to check out John O’Callaghan’s Subculture podcast and support locals Mike Saint-Jules and Pirate Radio!
Review by Luc Mosley for Beatcue.com