Tchami has been running around North America these past couple months baptizing city after city with his holy (and unholy) house music sermons. Considering I was able to experience his unforgettable set on HOLY SHIP! (that ended in a spiritual downpour), there was no chance I was going to miss his stop at the Ogden Theater in Denver last week. There’s a very thin line between fanboy-ing and trying to write an unbiased review of my current favorite DJ, but here it goes.
Not only has Tchami been selling out almost every single stop on this Prophecy tour, but he’s also manning one of the hottest house music record labels, CONFESSION. Combine that with his ability to gather millions of plays on his new releases and putting out monthly half-hour mixes on SoundCloud, and you have one busy and happy dude. When you have someone like that, who works so hard to give his fans what they want, you can bet that they’re going to dedicate their resources to put on the best performances they possibly can.
Even though the show was completely sold out, fans weren’t rushing the gates. This was somewhat settling, knowing that I wouldn’t have to fight for a prime spot (I was ready). After claiming our area, fellow friends and fans warmed up to local DJ Andy Immerman, who started out with some easy house beats and appropriately raised the energy level as the crowd thickened. By the end of his opening set, there was a noticeably increasing buzz. It was time to get ready for the first main chapter of the evening, a highly anticipated set by one of Tchami’s label mates and fellow “Pardon My French” brother, Mercer.
Mercer wasted no time firing up the crowd with a very similar future house style to Tchami, but with even higher energy, sometimes screeching tunes that kept your head bobbing and feet moving. If there’s something I’ve noticed from seeing similar CONFESSION artists (like MALAA), it’s that it’s all about the music–no talking, no hyping up the crowd, just pure four-on-the-floor goodness. As his set raged on, the volume got louder, the dance moves got harder, and we all prepared ourselves for the main act that was to follow. There was a large, ominous lighting structure that lurked in the darkness behind Mercer and I was eager to see what type of visuals Tchami was going to be bringing to the stage.
After a brief intermission, the moment finally arrived. Tchami took the stage in his short-sleeved shirt, complete with his signature clergy collar, and began to hold midnight mass at the Ogden on a Tuesday night. The Frenchman stood in front of five huge stained glass windows that beamed white light out over the crowd as he played his more euphoric and melodic tracks. As soon as he transitioned into the heavier and filthier part of his house catalog, the stained glass flashed a fiery red. For the entirety of the show, it felt like like we were ascending to heaven and then cast back down to hell based on Tchami’s will. Honestly, it was one of the most creative, but simply awesome, visuals I’ve seen in some time.
Given an hour-and-a-half set, Tchami was able to expand what would normally be a 60-minute set of tunes to include many unreleased tracks that took everybody by surprise. Everyone would be singing along to the songs they were familiar with, but were left speechless by the ones they weren’t. I found myself throwing my phone up to capture as many as I could while still dancing my ass off (the results weren’t very quality). Like Mercer, Tchami let the music do all the talking and only communicated to the crowd by thanking them at the end of the set and clasping his hands together in a prayer-like form.
Before I knew it, the set was over. The crowd at the Ogden begged for one last song, and Tchami happily jumped back on stage to play one of his older remixes, “Take Ü There” by Jack Ü. The energy in the theater remained high as we all shuffled out to the street, some off straight to sleep after dancing so much, others scattering to after-parties to keep the night going (good luck on a Tuesday). This was only the second time that I’ve seen Tchami perform as a headliner in a small, intimate venue, and I must say that it was easily one of my favorite non-festival sets of the year. And it’s going to be tough to beat.
Tchami continues the Prophecy Tour until the end of this weekend, where it will complete in Seattle on Saturday. The remainder of the shows are sold out, so I wish you all the best of luck trying to grab resale tickets. If Tchami remains as busy as he’s been in the past year, you should be able to catch him on the festival circuit this year.