The series of gigs taking place in Custom House Square came to end on Sunday past with Carl Cox headlining a sold out night that had a lot of people excited from the moment it was announced. It sold out immediately which goes to show how big dance music is in N.I. with Tiesto playing to 42,000 people the day before at Vital!
Your typical dance headline night will attract a young and, shall we say enthusiastic crowd. I've spoken about other nights where the younger crowd can be hard for me to get photos of, but thankfully the age range was a lot more respectable for Carl Cox! A good mix of 18-30+ filled Custom House Square with many of them wearing sunglasses that had Carl's motto 'Oh Yes! Oh Yes' written on the lenses, many of which ended up on the ground by the end of the night.
the lineup for the night was another good reason why the gig attracted so much attention in the first place; local talent Schmutz and Phil Kieran no less, followed by in demand house DJ; Hot since 82. All of which would play the after party at Limelight after the show, which unsurprisingly sold out too.
There was a great moment I was happy to be a part of capturing; where Phil Kieran's son came on stage to see his Dad tearing up the decks to the huge crowd. Phil's partner Carla asked me beforehand that she wouldn like to get a photo of the two of them on stage. So I brought his son on stage and asked him to sneakily edge closer to his Dad mid set.
By the time Hot Since 82 came on stage, the crowd was fully swinging, with the venue looking packed out it allowed me to get some shots of the venue full during day light which I was thankful for.
I hadn't witnessed a Carl Cox set before, so I was curious to see why there was so mu/ch hype around him. I started of shooting from the photo pit which turned out to be a bad call, as you could only see the top of Carl's head due to his movement back and forth from the decks. It did allow me to shoot the crowd going nuts for him though. Especially when I finally uttered the phrase "Oh Yes! Oh Yes!" people went mad for it!
Carl Cox interacted with the crowd brilliantly, more like a radio host than a typical DJ; by which I mean, where your typical DJ might shout "Throw your hands in the air" or some cliche, Carl was talking to the crowd more personally and I definitely appreciated it.
I can see why he got such a good reception, with his track choices flowing from techno to older trance like classics which would have resonated with the older crowd. From a shooting perspective, he was great for movement and energy, but not too lively which let me shoot great facial expressions as he wouldn't go running off or jump on top of the table which you see modern EDM DJ's doing flat out. Carl is probably too old for that nonsense to be fair.