Event: Mano Le Tough at Robert Johnson, Frankfurt

Last night was my last time at Offenbach’s Robert Johnson for now. A place that I loved to come back to regularly over the past three years. I chose Mano Le Tough for this celebratory occasion, ’cause I had seen him play there before about a year ago and it had been great. Baikal was also playing and New Jackson did a liveset. Maybe it was the pressure of being the last time, but something was a little off last night. I still had a good time in the very end.

Warming up the night was Baikal. I had never seen him play before or heard anything about him to be honest. At half past twelve, Robert Johnson was still quite empty but it slowly filled up with more people. I instantly noticed the very mixed crowd of that night. Since Baikal was just starting the night, he kept it more low energy in the beginning and I was hoping for him to pick it up soon. The track selection was good and the mixes were smooth, still I somehow felt bored and found myself waiting for the next set to begin. But also the following liveset by New Jackson couldn’t fully capture me for some reason. It was surely well done, I wasn’t a fan of the distorted vocals though and something just felt off. I couldn’t really get into it, maybe it was me. The crowd wasn’t having a bad time it seemed, still I’ve seen more energy on the wooden floors of Robert for sure.

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Then at 4.30am Mano Le Tough finally started. I hate waiting for a DJ like that and not enjoying the other artists, but that’s how it was last night. Since I had had a tough time enjoying the music the previous part of the night, it also took me a while to get into Mano’s set. It wasn’t his usual fluent deep house/ tech house set it seemed. There was no clear structure or consistent flow like usually. It was a bit random actually, since he also played very housey tracks like Kornél Kovács’ new track “Rocks” and strove towards disco even. But I got my fair share of emotional deep house moments that I was waiting for. Mano also often plays a lot of new releases, so it’s not surprising if you recognise quite a few of the tracks he’s playing. I was quite happy when he played “Maybe” by Kettenkarussell, which was part of my recent favorites and Four Tet’s popular remix of “Afraid” by Nelly Furtado. Overall it was something else than I expected and I’d say I’ve seen him play better, but he surely delivered. I was just missing that consistency and feeling of a journey as a set. The party got good to the very end. Robert Johnson is always best when the sun has already come up over the river and the light is streaming in through the glass doors and only the dedicated ravers are left. So I actually stayed til 8 in the morning and had a good last time there in the end.

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