John Acquaviva "The Last Dance" Motor, Detroit. 08-30-2002.

     We've been very fortunate over the past 20 years to have been able to record some great sets from a wide array of artists both local and international in origin and witness some unforgettable nights while at it. Over those years we've collected a number of first's like an artist playing in Chicago or the U.S. for the first time or the first time a venue was used for a underground event. Along the way we've also recorded a few final or last nights at a club or venue before they closed their doors for good. This post is from the latter and it's by an great artist that we can also call a friend at the closing of a Detroit institution. John Acquaviva live at "The Last Dance" Motor Detroit 6 year anniversary and club closing party.

John during his set.

     This is another set from the archives that I've been meaning to post for awhile now but kept getting pushed back for one reason or another. That changed when over the summer of 2015 I read a piece by Michaelangelo Matos on Redbull Music Academy's site named "Nightclubbing: An oral history of Detroit's Motor". In it he spoke to those involved with the clubs success and gave some of it's history. But more recently after attending one of the "Chicago vs Detroit" Boiler Room streams that took place here, I thought it was time to finally put the set and the story behind the night out. Recording this set came about from an long relationship that we've had with John over the years. We've been recording his sets here in Chicago since 1999 and have made multiple trips to Detroit to record him at Motor during that time as well. John had talked about us coming up to record this show a few weeks prior during one of his well attended residency nights at Smartbar in Chicago where he would regularly play seven to eight hour sets. Being that the The Datman couldn't make the trip, I went and recorded the night myself. 

Flyer from the night.

     Being that I was going to be heading up to Detroit alone, I opted to fly then make the drive by myself. As I arrived at the club, there was a huge line waiting to get in and, from what I had heard, it was filled passed its capacity. As I entered and made my way to the DJ booth, there was defiantly a buzz in the air as the crowd in attendance were up for a memorable night as was I. Not only was it Motor's six year Anniversary and it's closing party but it was also's four year Anniversary party in the lounge. It featured many of it's residents such as Derek Plaslaiko and ReXXX, twelve in total, playing on four decks. Finally in the back room, Mike "Agent X" Clark and recent Boiler Room "Chicago vs Detroit" stream artist Minx rounded out an already stacked lineup for the night. As the night went on and I made my way around the club, I saw Motor regular Richie Hawtin in attendance hanging out in the booth enjoying the music and taking in the moment.

     This mix was a celebration of the music and sets that John had played over the years at Motor. As you can tell from the setlist below, it's was an journey filled with great music along the way. But not only did he have a some great memories at the club but has deep roots in the city as a whole as well. Between the various club, party and New Year eve events he's done, running his own Definitive record label and Plus 8 Records along side Richie Hawtin, John has had a great love for the city as has the city for him. As far as this night goes, the energy in the club was intense. John feed off the crowd as they took in every track that he played, clapping and singing along the way. Especially when "All Night Long" and his encore with "One More Time" came on. As special as this set is, the real gem here is the final ten minutes or so of the recording. I usually let the tape roll (I was still recording with the DAT Recorder then) past the last track of the night just in case someone would get on the mic to say a few words. With the night being what it was, I knew someone would here.

Crowd during the night.

     After the music stops you hear head of operations Dan Sordyl get on the mic and thank everyone in attendance. In the background you can hear John saying "One more song", "One More Song"! I'm not sure if they let him or he just put it on but Daft Punks "One More Time" as his encore to a cheering crowd. Afterwards Dan gets back on and says a few more words then Acquaviva takes the mic and thanks Dan and Detroit for everything. I believe Motor Booker Jon Ozias gets on and gives a bit of the history on how the club started and mentioned those involved with its success over the years. Mike "Agent x" Clark gets on and says some words as did Derek Plaslaiko before I stopped recording. It was a somber mood as the lights went on all around. The crowd didn't want to leave as everyone there knew it was the end of a era for Detroit and wanted to take in as much as they could. From what I've seen or should I say not seen, this will be the first time that this set has been posted anywhere. John did however want me to send copies soon after the night to someone who wanted to play the set at their wedding reception. That must have been one heel of a party!

Setlist for the night:

Tim Deluxe Feat. Sam Obernik - Just Won't Do.
The Biginerz - Reckless Girl.
DJ Gregory - Tropical Soundclash.
Shakedown - At Night. Kid Cream Remix.
O'Jays I Love Music - Unknown Remix.
LCD Sound System - Beat Connection. Disco Dub.
Jefferson Airplane VS The Boogie Pimps - Somebody To Love. Saltshaker Remix.
Moguai - U Know Y. Punx Squad Remix.
16th Element - Warp.
Timo Maas - O.C.B.
Oricom - The Intersonic.
Galaxy 2 Galaxy Feat. Atlantis - Transition.
Deepswing - In The Music. Acapella.
The Supermen Lover - The Player.
Delicious Inc. - Love Me Or Leave Me. 15000 Dollars Mix.
Lionel Richie - All Night Long. White Label Mix.
Capricorn - 20hz.
Michael Jackson. Wanna Be Startin' Something.
DJ Rolando - Jaguar.
Roland Clark - Speak To Me. Acapella.
Blunted Dummies - House Music For All.
Saba - Die Strasse. Jeenie Green Remix.
Romanthony's Nightvision - Never Fuck. Vocal Mix.
Tony Johns Edits - Erotic City.
DJ Pippi Presents Natural Colours - Feel It. Pleasure Team Perverse Remix.
Huntemann. Disco Tech.
Fingers Inc.  - My House. Acapella.
Fat Boy Slim - Star 69.
First Mic Check.
Daft Punk - One More Time.
Second Mic Check.

     If you haven't already, Click on "Live Sets Chicago" or our tab at the top right corner to keep up with our Facebook page. Get links to other DJ mixes, view classic and current party flyers and event links for shows we are supporting or recording. And of course,check out John Acquaviva for more info on what he's got coming up, tour dates and support what he does. After all, If it were not for the artists, none of these posts would have been possible. 

Special thanks to John Acquaviva and Rodostina Dovcheva.

Hope this finds you all well.


Gus "Audio"

© Live Sets Chicago. 2015.

DJ Pierre live at "Heroes of House", Chicago. 04-17-2015.

     This post come to us by a man whose worn many hats over the years such as DJ, producer, remixer and label owner. He's created timeless tracks both as an solo artist and while part of such pioneering groups like PHUTURE and Pierre's Phantasy Club. The former of which created a whole new genre of music, Acid House, while at it. Introduced the likes of Felix The Housecat and J.R. Jordan to the world and pushed new production methods such as his still popular "WildPitch" style. He influenced the East Coast Disco-House faze in the 1990's while at New York's Strictly Rhythm records as their in house producer and also had a brief stint as A&R for the label. He's been globetrotting for over 20 years, DJing for 30 and from the looks of his every growing DJ dates and reuniting as PHUTURE with original member DJ Spank Spank, he's not ready to throw in the towel just yet. The "Afro Acid Don", DJ Pierre.

Pierre starting off his set. 

     This set was recorded during the Chicago Foundations: "Heroes of House" whole building event that took place at Metro - Smartbar in Chicago on April 17th 2015. It featured a fantastic line-up of artists who all got their start in Chicago and have gone on to take their sound around the world since. Upstairs in the Metro, DJ Diz and J-Dub opened up for Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak and Mark Farina who all performed on 2 mixers and 6 CD players for almost 6 hours. While downstairs in Smartbar, Michael Serafini and Garrett David went back to back opening up for DJ Pierre and DJ Spank Spank's first live performance in Chicago as PHUTURE since their much talked about "House Music Legacy Session" Boiler Room stream back in early 2014. Then DJ Pierre went on to close out the night for the last two hours with this spectacular DJ set. 

Set times upstairs in Metro.
     I must say, the energy this night was through the roof! This event had Chicago and the Mid-West buzzing after it was announced with some in attendance making the trip from out of state just to catch it. Any of these artists fill a club on their own, but having them playing at the same night in the same venue in their home town was truly one show that was not to be missed. It felt like a family reunion of sorts with all the familiar faces in attendance that I would see back during the 1990's rave scene here. A few of which don't make it out to shows anymore but could't let this one pass them by. I also saw many Chicago artists like DJ Hyperactive, DJ Heather and Andrew Emil out showing their support and making their way between both venues during the night.


     Down stairs in Smartbar, Serafini and David built the room up nicely for over three hours before PHUTURE's took over with a live set. When they did, Pierre and Spank Spank feed off each other and the crowd as they went through some of their classics and newer tracks for about an hour. Mid way through their set, newest studio member Lothario Lee jumped in and tweaked on some gear before their set ended with "We Are PHUTURE", which had the crowd chanting along with them.  When it was time for DJ Pierre to close the night out, he went on to lay down what had to be one of the most vibrant and energetic sets I've ever heard him play. He weaved from classic's to newer gems and really took the crowd on a journey. There were a few moments during his set where everyone in the booth and on the floor were yelling, screaming and jumping up and down. Afterwards he went on the say, "I never play like that! I kept pushing and the crowd wanted more!" As you can hear from this recording, he showed Chicago why even after thirty years of DJing, he's still a master at his craft.

Herb J. Pierre, Spank Spank and Lothario Lee.
     If you haven't already, Click on "Live Sets Chicago" or our tab at the top right corner of the blog and keep up with what we have treading on our Facebook page. Get links to other DJ mixes, view classic and current party flyers and event links for shows we are supporting or recording. And of course check out DJ Pierre for more info on what he's got coming up, tour dates and support what he's doing. After all, If it were not for the artists, none of these posts would have been possible. 

Hope this finds you all well.


Gus "Audio"

© Live Sets Chicago. 2015.

"AIRA House" Originators Series Event, Chicago. 01-30-2015.



     This post is the second part of the "AIRA House" Originators Series that took place back on January 30th here in Chicago. The first post (which can be viewed here: "AIRA House" Panel) covered Roland's "AIRA Crew" (artist reps and technicians) as they spoke to Chicago artists and pioneers Jesse Saunders, DJ Hyperactive, Roy Davis JR and Gene Hunt as they asked them about their own certain styles and history in Dance Music. They also discussed what drove their pioneering spirt, experimental attitudes and what motivates them today. The night also featured a live set by Thirdwave (AKA Poorboy Rich and Casey Bishop) who used Rolands new AIRA equipment during their performance. 

     Not only were we able to bring you the video that got recored that night but we were also fortunate enough to have been able to record the sets from the event afterwards and are excited to be able to share them with you now. We're going to post them in the order that the artists played and they go to show just why, along with their production talent, they got chosen to do the "Chicago Originators" leg during this series tour. I hope to post a new set a week so check back for them as time goes by.

     Gene Hunt.

     Jesse Saunders.

     Roy Davis Jr.


     DJ Hyperactive

     If you haven't already, Click on "Live Sets Chicago" or our tab at the top right corner of the blog to keep up with what we have treading on our Facebook page. Get links to other DJ mixes, view classic and current party flyers and event links for shows we are supporting or recording. And of course, check out all of these artists personal sites links where highlighted through out the post for more info on what they got coming up, tour dates and support what they do. After all, If it were not for the artists, none of these posts would have been possible. 

     Special thanks to DeWook Photo for the use of the great pic from the night.

Hope this finds you all well.


Gus "Audio"

© Live Sets Chicago. 2015.

Frankie Knuckles "Escapade Chicago" 2000.

     This post is a very special one as it's on someone whom if it were not for the crafting of his sound specifically to the crowd here in Chicago, and those whom he inspired that went on and created their own music, there might not be this music we call "House" today. But sadly it's also falls on the first anniversary of his untimely death. The Godfather of House music, Frankie Knuckles.

     On March 31th, 2014, the world received the news of his sudden passing and it's left a void in the Dance Music community here and around the world ever since. Many thought as I did that it was a cruel April fools joke being that the news started to make it's way around online the evening before April First. As time passed friends close to Knuckles as did various Social Media sites confirmed that his death was in fact true. In a email released to the press by Fredrick Dunson, a long time friend and business partner of Knuckles, he stated that Knuckles had died at his home in Chicago of then unknown causes but later it was revealed that he had succumb to complications due to Type II Diabetes. Knuckles had developed the decease in the mid 2000's and has battled with it ever since.

     Knuckles has had countless production and remix credits to his name and a list of artists that he's worked with over the years that included Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross just to name a few. He's travel'd the world over all while touching people with his spiritual sets and warm heart along the way. And if it were not for fellow DJ and friend Larry Lavan turning down an opportunity to be the resident at a club that mutual friend Robert Williams was opening here back in the the late 70's, Chicago and Dance Music as a whole, might be in a different place then it is now or maybe not even be in existence.

     This mix, which was also mastered by Live Sets Chicago's own "The Datman" at the time, was given out at D/E Entrainment and Tabernacle Chicago's event of the same name back in 2000. The two production companies put on events at various venues such as The House Of Blues and Crobar over the years which featured Knuckles as the DJ for the night. The event was held at The House Of Blues main room and from what I remember the DJ booth was set-up in one of the balconies off to the right so that left the main stage free for people to dance on which they did this night. This was one of many events that Knuckles performed at that we had the privilege of attending and memories do sometimes seam to blend together. But a few do stand out from this night in particular that I'd like to share.

     At one point during the night I found myself dancing next to a large group of people and what looked like a bodyguard in front of them. As the night went on I found out it was then rising pop star Christina Aguilera and her entourage that were in attendance. Aguilera, who was on tour around that time, was enjoying the music as her security stood watch. The other was during the end of the night as I went up to the booth I heard a fan with an Italian accent asking Knuckles if he could sign a empty champagne bootle for him to take as a souvenir. Knuckles told him "They're never going to let you take that out of here"! The fan just laughed as Knuckles signed it. The fan proceeded to stuff the bottle down his pants and walked away as everyone in attendance stood there and laughed as Frankie just shook his head.

                      I would say that "Escapade Chicago" is a mix of hope, inspiration and determination. With lyrics such as "They can't take that away from me", "Don't you ever give up" and "Brighter days are just around the bend" it's hard not to feel motivated after listening to it. As how many felt after experiencing one of Knuckles energetic and spiritual sets. As with other mixes on our site, we try and share lost, classic of forgotten mixes or ones that have a story behind them that we feel need or should to be told. And in this case pay tribute to someone's who's brought countless others joy and happiness in their lives and spread House Music around the world. But sadly it's also a reminder of how his sound is and will be missed by those experienced his sets or listened to his music.

     Since we started writing this post, there have been a few announcements that involve Frankie's legacy that we wanted to include. First there was a foundation created in his name called The Frankie Knuckles Foundation. The foundations's primary goal is to preserve and keep the musical legacy of Kunckles alive through media, events, conversation, artistic endeavors and eduction. The foundations site is still in the works but a donate page is linked on the address above. On the anniversary of his death, there were two events that took place in Chicago. One celebrating his life, the other looking to tell it on the big screen. First there was a Boiler Room event at Smartbar Chicago. Knuckles had performed at the venue for over the past 32 years and from what we understand, was the first resident DJ the club ever had. This event was the only official International tribute to the late artist as approved by The Frankie Knuckle Foundation and his estate. The event featured Chicago DJs Elbert Philips, Alan King, Michael Serafini and Derrick Carter. All of which had an intimate and intractable connection with Knuckles over the years and are great artists in there own right. Lastly there was a production kick off party for "The Warehouse". A movie in the works recounting the story behind Chicago's "Warehouse Club" where Knuckles started his career here in the late 1970's and where "House Music" got it's name. It will also tell his legacy behind the decks and will go into detail about his relationship with long time friend Robert Williams, who originally asked Knuckles to move here from New York to DJ at the famed Chicago after-hour night club.

     If you haven't already, click on Live Sets Chicago or our Facebook tab on the upper right hand corner of our blog to follow us and keep up to date with what we have going on our fan page. While there, get links to other mixes and events we're supporting or recording, classic and current party flyers  and more. And of course, be sure to visit The Frankie Knuckles Foundation and support the fund to keep Knuckles legacy alive for generations to come.

     Special thanks to Frederick Dunson from "The Frankie Knuckles Foundation".

Hope this finds you all well.


Gus "Audio"

© Live Sets Chicago. 2015.

"Aira House" Originators Series Panel, Chicago. 01-30-2015.


     This is a bit different from what we normally post but we're just as excited to be able to share it. Live Sets Chicago teamed up with Chicago's Energy Productions to bring you the Chicago leg of Roland's "AIRA House" Originators Series Artist Panel discussion at The Primary Nightclub from this past January. This series brings together Roland's "AIRA Crew" (artist reps and technicians) as they speak to the host cities artists in a panel style setting and asks them about their certain styles and history in Dance Music. They discuss what drove their pioneering spirt, experimental attitudes and how classic Roland production instruments like the TR-909 and TB-303 shaped what and how they produce'd and shaped Dance Music as a whole.

     This panel featured Chicago's pioneers, producers and DJ's Jesse SaundersDJ HyperactiveRoy Davis JR, and Gene Hunt. Everyone gave their backgrounds, histories and how they're using Rolands new equipment both in their studios and or while performing live. Those in attendance were also able to try out the new "AIRA" line of equipment that's bringing classic Roland production equipment like the TB-303 and TR-909 to a new generation and as they say that can either break artists free from computers and software based music programs as stand alone pieces or integrate them with what they already have in the studio or let their creativty be spontaneous during live performances.


     There were also many fellow Chicago DJ's and producer's in attendance during the panel and that had stayed for the event after the panel such as Wyndell long, Vincent Floyd, DJ Mazi, Frankie Vega, Rees Urban, Lothario Lee, Charles Matlock, Rob Threezy, Herb J, Phil Free Art, MircoDot and DJ He Man IS. The panel went over an hour and it wasn't nearly long enough to really get in depth on everything but from what I hear, Roland might be considering doing other events here in Chicago with different hands-on workshops and longer in-depth sessions with different artists and producers since this one had such positive feedback afterwards.

     If you haven't already, Click on Live Sets Chicago or like our tab at the top right corner of this blog to keep up to date with what we have trending on our Facebook page. Get links to other DJ mixes, view classic and current party flyers and event links for shows we are supporting and or recording. And of course check out all of these artists personal sites links where high lighted or in bold for more info on what they've got coming up, tour dates and be sure to support what they do. After all, If it were not for the artists, none of these posts would have been possible.

Hope this finds you all well.


Special thanks to Roland, Primary Night Club and Lou Green from Energy Productions for the use of the video.

For more info on video production or editing, contact: Lou Green for more info.

© Live Sets Chicago. 2015.