Sell me on live "concert" DJs

But we’re talking about a live concert setting here, which is the only context I’m interested in for the purposes of the thread.

The other half of my post acknowledged that working in the studio is an artistic skill, but creating/preforming live is completely different. Until an EDM DJ is creating a-la how a Hip-Hop DJ would create a new beat live with scratching, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of comparison between the two skills.

Are you simply asserting that you do not believe there exist any EDM DJs who mix live for concert performances?

I’m saying that the one cite provided in the thread, from deadmau5, indicates that the amount of mixing done live is minimal, and he himself differentiates it little from pressing play.

People who enjoy going to see DJs at the club are the same people who enjoy going to see DJs at big festivals. They are just dancing and drinking and hanging out with friends outside instead of in a club. If you can understand the appeal of going to see the DJ at a club, I don’t know why it would be baffling that some people would enjoy that same thing, but at an outdoor music festival instead.

Some people who go to music festivals are big music buffs who are big on seeing live performances, and have their lists of who they want to see, and are familiar with the music and can compare live and studio versions. And some people go because a lot of people go and it’s a fun outdoor thing.

It seems like a lot of people are kinda missing the OP, at least as I read the question.

I don’t think anybody is saying DJs can’t produce excellent, unique, personal music.

The question is more about live performance and whether DJs are really engaged in musicianship that warrants a bunch of people watching them on the stage.

And I think the answer is: not really, but that’s also not what’s happening. In the earlier days of electronic music, this was a problem – when they started playing bigger venues, the “live show” aspect got weird. But a lot of folks have been looking to solve that question, and they’re found a handful of answers. Elaborate light and video shows (which are sometimes totally preprogrammed but are sometimes mixed and “performed” live by light and video artists) are part of it, getting the crowd really dancing is part of it, adding live vocalists or dancers can step things up, and some DJs make a point to include at least some real “live performance” aspects using samplers and drum machines manipulated live.

It’s tricky. Most DJs CAN just go up, press play, and bob their head along with the music while fiddling with knobs. I think the folks people actually like seeing live step it up.

I’ve seen a lot of DJs and never seen any of them just ‘turn up and press play’. Some friends of mine used to put on dance nights at a club and they practised (and talked about) playing records for hours a day, I’ve been to a lot of clubs where you can buy the DJ a drink and ask them to play a record in person, and see them working the turntables as you are politely - or not - rebuffed. One NYE I accompanied Italian DJ Daniele Davoli around four clubs in the UK, and he brought all his own vinyl and played it.

I don’t see the attraction, to a real DJ, of playing the same set every time. For starters it could quickly get boring, secondly there’s no ‘interaction’ with the crowd - you’re faking it for real - and thirdly new stuff comes out every week. Unless you’re playing a retro night, some of the crowd will realise you’re cheating them and your hard-earned reputation will stop filling venues.