Sep 28, 2016
Theo Parrish Changed My Life
When I learned Theo Parrish was closing Mutek 2010, I instinctively knew enough to know that I should be there.
I only knew his name from an LCD Soundsystem remix but I felt he would have been interesting to see live.
A local DJ friend of mine spoke very highly of him days before the finale and that reinforced my need to be there. He mentioned something about Theo Parrish’s manipulation of sound being somewhat sick or awesome. I was sold without having to see the look on his face while speaking about Theo Parrish.
I was talking to a few CKUT colleagues for most of the night while waiting for Theo Parrish to take the stage. One of them told me he missed several opportunities to see Theo Parrish and was making a huge sacrifice being there that night.
I knew nothing of Theo Parrish prior to that night and surely would know less about his selections. I was there to take in the experience and learn. One of the earliest signs of trouble was him playing The Police’s The Bed’s Too Big Without You. I knew of the title and that K-os covered it years ago. The place went nuts and I scrambled to know what it was. When I learned the truth, I went nuts. I have mad love for The Police but to know a song like that was on an album I own, and never fully played, shook me. The only Police albums I know inside out are Synchronicity and the 1986 greatest hits package.
Apparently there was technical difficulties. Things got back on track and the magic continued.
At some point in the night, my entourage and I moved to the middle of S.A.T. The place was packed and I was drawn to the front. My CKUT colleagues declined to join me as I forged to the front. I was compelled to experience more. If Theo Parrish rocked me with a song I have at home and never heard, he was capable of rocking me again and with God knows what next time!
I figured I’d be a nuisance asking people if they knew what Theo Parrish was playing so I decided to take my ignorance to the front of the stage. It would at least be bliss and maybe I’d learn something I would use in my own DJing.
I couldn’t have chosen a better time to be in the front. It was hot and sweaty but I didn’t care. He was playing what sounded like house music and maybe disco/house until I heard a very familiar track. When I heard James Brown’s Ain't It Funky Now creep in out of all that house music, I literally lost it. I had done enough screaming by that point that I risked leaving the venue hoarse. I took off my Le Coq Sportif top and waved it like a flag. I threw it in the air with all the song’s hits so that he could have known he was killing me. That would be the only song I’d truly recognize that night. Ain’t It Funky Now played that night validated everything I heard about Theo Parrish.
I moved and grooved until the end. I, like everyone around me, gave him a rousing applause. After we calmed down, he proceeded to give us what I learned is a standard sermon about vinyl superiority over mp3. He brought 3 record bags with him and I respect that. I respect what he did that night and his message all the more.
With no hesitation, I can say that Theo Parrish Mutek 2010 is still the best DJ set I’ve ever heard in my life. I told a friend of mine not too long ago that Theo Parrish is the living embodiment of what I want to be as a DJ. Thanks to the Mutek family for allowing me to have that experience.
Piknic Électronik is allowing another Theo Parrish experience in Montreal when he returns on October 2. Perhaps it will be your best DJ set of your life.