Aly and Fila & Sied van Riel at Soundgarden Hall March 23rd, 2013

After a week + of a constant Twitter and Facebook stream of people enjoying the various Miami Music Week parties, I could not wait to get a solid dose of Aly and Fila w/ Sied van Riel at my favorite spot in the city, Soundgarden Hall on March 23, 2013.

I have never had a disappointing experience at this club, and aside from minor hiccups, everyone I know seems to love the awesome sound, constant stream of talent, and BYOB policy of this still fresh addition to the Philadelphia nightlife scene.

I got down to the club about when the doors opened at 9pm, with resident Johnny V on the decks. John’s got a good ear for EDM, and does an awesome job of blending new and classic trance tracks with other EDM styles in such a way that’s pretty hard to top. I always look forward to getting to a party a little bit early when I can hear some of what he’s got in store.

DJ Jason E followed up with a set that honestly didn’t blow me away. If you’re opening up for trancers, play trance. Not dubstep, not Swedish House Mafia, and certainly not the latest mashup/mix of Levels. I’m sure some in the crowd enjoyed it, but I wasn’t one of those people.

Sied Van Riel came on promptly at 1130pm, and I was brought back to happy trance mood with the sound of Ummet Ozcan’s latest bomb, “Here and Now.” The Dutchie also drop the other major track from Ummet w/ W&W, “The Code.” Ferry’s “Kudawudashuda,” and JOC w/ Full Tilt and Karen Kelly “Breathe,” were big crowd pleasers as well. My personal favorite from his set was “Ready to Fall” by DJ 4 Strings. Awesome trancer for sure. Sied brought a great energy to SGH, and included a number of his own tracks including his latest release “Past, Present, Future,” to the delight of the crowd.

Speaking of amazing energy, when Aly and Fila came on at about 1am, it was clear that this was the moment the Philadelphia crowd had been waiting for. Some of the highlights included an extended mix of the wonderful track “Perfect Love,” the uberbomb “We Control the Sunlight,” and “Lost Language.” He included a ton of classics like PPK’s “Resurrection,” Oceanlab’s “Satellite, Above and Beyond’s “Home,” Andain’s “Beautiful Things,” Motorcycle’s “As the Rush Comes” and Armin’s “Burned with Desire.”

This was certainly a mixed crowd of old heads and new fans. In either case, the fans showed huge support for the Future Sound of Egypt set, and he responded in kind by handing out promo CD’s and T-Shirts to his followers.

Fadi also incorporated some newer “classics” such as PVD’s “Don’t Deserve You,” and Gareth’s “Concrete Angel.” This was blended out with tracks such as Bjorn’s “Gunsmoke,” and Sneider’s “Jackknife.” The party was scheduled to end around 230, which was about when my new sneakers told my feet it was time to get moving, but I heard he continued on until about 4am, which is an awesome sign that Soundgarden continues to push toward longer sets.

Although I could go on and on about how this was one of the best trance nights in Philly to date, and even though I say that all the time, I mean it this time… But instead I really want to take a moment to focus on what an impressive job Soundgarden does as a whole.

This is a nightclub without a liquor license, throwing a party until 4am, in Philadelphia. Name some other clubs without liquor licenses that can book Aly and Fila, Sander, Markus, and even Armin? Bet ya can’t. Personally, I don’t know how they do it but I love that they find a way.

It’s not as though the ticket prices for their events exceed those you’d find in other markets… and yet this club still needs to pay for their security, sound team, lighting (electricity in general!), management, front of house, vendors, etc. I always assumed that it was super important for to balance out their revenue stream with their bar sales, and perhaps that’s the case, but I have a lot of respect for the fact that SGH Philly is doing such an amazing job without overcharging for event entry.

Can’t wait until Markus’s debut at SGH on April 11, and hope to see you all there!

Review by Stuart Fleishman

This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.

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