Markus Schulz has done a lot in 2014, and doesn’t seem to even need a break yet. As 2014 closes, and New York celebrates with this year’s newest big thing, #BigWeekNY, Markus came back to Pacha to bring fans another 10+ hour open to close set. Thanks to RPM, the brains and brawn behind #BigWeekNYC, we had a lot to prep for. Schulz open to close was to be followed up only 48 short hours later with Armin van Buuren at Pier 94. To many this was an exciting way to end 2014, and many of the same fans planned to be at both events- myself included. And now, here I am, New Years Eve, wondering: Why doesn’t Markus need that break yet? Im clearly doing something wrong here because my stamina is nowhere near Mr Schulz- that said, Im happy to sit back and ice my aching muscles after such an amazing end to the year.
Getting to Pacha at 10pm for the opening is not something many people are excited to attempt, unless Markus is there. Going on promptly at opening, many of us were there waiting as the gaurds prepped for the night. Markus is known not only for creating a massive journey in his OTC sets, but hes also known for his surprises; if were going to commit to staying out until 9am, and braving Pacha, then we’re going to do it right. I, personally, still love Pacha, even though it tends to get really packed (the main reason some people will make a face when you invite them- though thelly never say no), and in the 8 years Ive been going, Ive never seen it more packed than it gets for Markus. Pacha’s Mezz level (aka VIP) is quite comfortable, though, to those of use who are aging- aka no longer as comfortable in packed crowds. This particular night was not an exception and I spent most of my time there happy as a clam.
Starting off the night slowly as usual, Markus took the decks and the already full main room was smiling and dancing right along. In and out of classic trance tunes, to more recent coldharbour tunes, Markus braided in some great progressive techno sounds from the very start, too. When Markus was here earlier this year, the 10 hour set was the home to a very large majority of techno. This was something that made everyone quite happy, and (you can quote me here)- I found my comfort for the first time with the techno he played. I won’t deny that I had my moments wishing for a bit more trance, but all in all the entire evening back in February was a win and I wouldn’t have changed a thing at the end of the night. That said, this past Saturday, Markus brought to us something that I believe I will be quoting as one of my top five sets of all time. Markus has this way with his sets, the aforementioned journey, that any person cannot deny. As long as you are breathing, you are there with him- in the trenches, with the emotion, walking down the path that he wants you to be on riddled with surprise after surprise of classic tracks and even some commercial tunes to remind you that you are his puppet.
Hearing tunes like Do You Dream and Grube and Hovsepian- Trickster, kept me right at home. Theres a lot to be said about the comfort level that Markus creates for us Coldharbour junkies. He makes sure to intertwine the entire extent of his sets with that familiar sound. Being the master, this makes sense, but it does not in any way discount the happiness that such a seemingly obvious expectation brings. When Mr Schulz dropped his vocal track, Nothing Without Me, the entire crowd sang with such fevor that I am certain Markus’ family in Germany could hear us.
Generally, when we’re deepest into the rabbit hole that is a Schulz open to close, I am able to take a breather. This is when the techno gets deepest, things get dirty and Sam gets a little confused. Unfortunately, Markus must have read this recently in one of my last reviews, because tonight he made sure there was not one appropriate moments to stop and breath. Even through the 2am and 3am hours, Markus was marrying his techno tunes (that I, obviously, cannot identify) with favorites like Fisherman & Hawkins- Apache and Gareth Emery- U.
What was my favorite moment of the night? That’s a really hard one to identify. It could be when my friends who traveled all the way from Montreal showed up and we all stopped and sang, ok screamed, the lyrics to U. It also could be that moment when I saw Markus look down while playing Winter Kills Me and smiling and you could truly see the appreciation on his face while watching the room enjoy it. Maybe my favorite part was at the end, when I left, walking alone in the sprinkling rain as the sun got stronger and I replayed the tunes I loved the most with the fading in and out of everyone’s smiles in my head. I don’t have just one moment from the night that I can single out as the very best part of my night, and I guarantee you that no one else can either. I often struggle with some of the people who are on the fence about going to see Markus Schulz. It’s harder than you think as a fan, to explain to others why someone you adore is amazing. They don’t always listen, they don’t always take you seriously. However, when they do, and that moment when they chase you down at 7:30am to thank you- that, might possibly be the closest I can get to picking my favorite moments.
I sincerely want to thank Markus for reminding me why I love this music, and these people and this life; for reminding us on a regular basis that all we need to do is have a little faith, close our eyes and let our bodies move. Thank you to RPM for making this night possible, and so perfect and for all the fans and friends who took the time to stop and dance.
Originally written for ENL by Samantha Scroxton