After combing the glitter out of my hair and washing off the fluorescent glow paint from my shoes, I was left with this statement to reflect on: “Where is Morgan Page?” As I was leaving Empire Ballroom Friday night, a somewhat coherent female stumbled up to one of the bouncers and (out of luck?) I happened to over hear her conversation while getting my coat from the coat check.
Here are the basics of the conversation:
Female: Are you the manager?
Bouncer: Yes, I am the manager.
Female: I am SO pissed off. I paid 30 dollars for these tickets from ticketmaster to see Morgan Page, and where is she?
Bouncer (looking mildly amused): On stage.
Female: No there is some guy onstage. Where is she? Where is Morgan Page?
Now most would dismiss this as an irrelevant waste of mental processing and never give it another thought. But, after sleeping on it, I could (somewhat) understand her confusion, although, with all the marvels of modern technology I find it difficult to believe that a concert attendee wouldn’t do ANY listening before a show. Regardless, it was still an interesting statement about a DJ’s marketing strategies and the electronic dance music scene in general. It is not uncommon for DJ’s to hire female vocalists to sing on top of their beats. Many popular DJ’s even have a set group of vocalists that they use to record vocals on all their albums, in order to create a consistency within their sound.
In examining various DJ’s music videos, I can see how their visual could be misleading. Morgan Pages’ most viewed youtube videos look identical to that of a pop tartlets’ video premier. Beautiful woman, singing in expense clothes, in clubs, on the patio, in the desert… you get the picture. Most often, the DJ appears to play the role of a love interest, not of a collaborative musician. Sometimes he is only in the frame for a second before the vocalist is back in the spotlight. Most DJ’s endorse their music (product) with the face of a young, glamourous woman. Is this because the DJ’s face won’t ‘sell’ it? Or are they another victim of the massive scale globalizing power of the American Hollywood image? It is a rather intriguing thought.
For a music genre that was virtually inexistent on Edmonton’s popular music scene 10 years ago, the demand for electro dance music has taken over the airwaves and the nightclubs. As Morgan Page humbly entered the stage, people were ecstatic. The lights went off, the stage was blazing. We were packed so tightly, we breathed like one moving mass on the dance floor. Opening with a solid set, his mixing techniques were flawless and effective. People were dancing with so much force and with such synchronization, that the floor felt like it was literally going to cave in and swallow us whole. The hypnotic effects of his breaks were executed effortlessly. He was our puppeteer, watching us dance and move in a swarm below him. The shape of his set was brilliantly balanced, as he seamlessly integrated his own music and the mainstream electronic dance songs. The harmonious blend of vocal music with an electro edge and house influence, allowed this DJ to stand out among the saturated market of heavy, bass-laden, monotonous electro beats. Overall, the show was surprisingly musical and engaging.
- Allison Sokil