Event: Dixon All Night Long at Robert Johnson, Frankfurt

That Dixon ensures the most successful nights of Offenbach’s Robert Johnson these days does not come as a surprise. However I am slightly impressed by the dedication of his fans from all over who cued up on this cold rainy night way before the doors even opened. I feel like I’m attending a big David Guetta concert. When the doors are finally open no one seems to get rejected. Apparently the usually harsh door policy of Robert Johnson is put on hold for that night. It looks like doing Dixon in this big and commercial way was their strategy to afford having him perform all night.

The relatively small main room of Robert Johnson is already packed with people shortly after 12. There’s a tension in the room, people are waiting, anticipating. No one teases like Dixon, as he takes it really slow in the beginning and continues to not give the people what they want, what they expect. Although the floor becomes more and more packed the crowd is relatively dead and people are talking instead of dancing. After about one hour of his set he slowly starts to take it up, you notice a change in the room immediately. This is the Dixon the people came for. By always taking the energy a bit down again he slowly leads us to the peak of the set that then lasts several hours. The famous wooden floor is on fire as Dixon delivers drop after drop. He  does take the energy down a little bit in between but only to take it up again shortly after. Instead of his usual emotional roller-coaster he keeps the energy way up as if he was saying “here you have it, this is what you came for” and the crowd loves it. In a way it’s important to adjust to the crowd as a DJ and to deliver but I miss the challenging, controlling, teasing, leading Dixon that night. To me he is lacking dimension for the main part of his set.

I was curious about how Dixon would create an all night set. It seems to me like he built up the set as a whole with a really slow, teasing start only to lead over to a several hour long peak that didn’t seem to lose its energy. Even after sunrise the floor is still packed and the energy level only starts to sink slowly. Dixon is in for a big night, it’s in his hands when people go home and he keeps them dancing. But somehow I am not fully hooked. I find myself dancing on the second floor more often that is played by the local talent TCB and offers a more friendly vibe. I miss the iconic intimate atmosphere of Robert Johnson that makes the crowd-dj connection so unique and intense. It’s sad to see that this night had to happen in such a commercialized way that took all the magic out of it. Blame it on the crowd, blame it on the set-up, blame it on Dixon: It’s the first time I see Dixon perform that he was not able to have me under his spell completely.

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