Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo @ Sound-Bar, Chicago

Oh my... I am in such a great mood. I think I had the best night of my (night) life on Friday. Two of the very best in Progressive House, Two of the my favorite DJs, Two of my idols, Two legends, Nick Warren and Hernan Cattaneo made a stop at Sound-Bar in Chicago on their brief USA tour.

Nick Warren & Hernan Cattaneo

I have been a fan of Nick Warren not too long after I started really getting into Sasha. Much like Sasha, he's a huge proveyor of a layered, building sound, but adds his own rich ambient flair to the mix. It was his mix for Global Underground #24 that hooked me for life, though I think his set from Tonic in 2004 illustrates the vibe from that time much better. His ambient sounds builds a warm, comfortable atmosphere, that builds throughout the night into massive energy.

Nick Warren is one-half of Way out West with Jody Wisternoff. Way out West is responsible for some of the best and influential acid house, trance, and progressive trance hits over the last 15 years.

Nick has two radio shows. He flexs his ambient sound on Frisky Radio every 2 months for Sound Garden. And he has another show on Delta FM which he does every 2 months, also. He usually posts them on his soundcloud page, so give 'em a listen:

For Hernan Cattaneo, I became a fan of his more recently. His deep progressive house doesn't always resonate with me, but his live sets build an immense vibe that is unforgettable. I missed his solo performance earlier this year at The Mid, so I was grateful to get another chance to see him so soon. :)

With Sasha and Digweed, I consider the 4 of them, the kings of Progressive House. All of them are good friends, and tend to spin together at events. They usually all get together for the bedrock boat cruise during the Winter Music Conference in Miami.

Sound Bar

Sound Bar did a horrible job promoting this event. I only knew about it from Nick Warren's facebook page back in October. Sound Bar said nothing about the event at all. The promotion company, React, said nothing either despite promoting events into February already. It wasn't until 2 weeks ago, when the event finally showed up on Sound Bar's webpage, and THEN react actually started promoting it. So many people didn't even know this was going on until it was too late.

Sound Bar usually has a line around the block for weekend events, and there were only 4 or 5 groups of people in front of us when Five and I showed up a little bit before 11pm. DESPITE that it still took 25 minutes to get into the building. The lines bottleneck at the hostesses inside the door looking up names on the RSVP list. They usually take about 3-4 minutes per person, unless you're a VIP or whatever. She couldn't find my name, for some reason <_<

Throughout the night, Five and I went to the bar for some drinks. Later in the evening, when I went to get some water, one of the bartenders was just talking with his friends off to the side not paying attention to the bar. The other bartender was looking around at people, but didn't actually wait on someone until after 10 seconds of eye contact. When she finally saw me, she started getting drinks for people right in front of her instead. It was so bad for Five earlier in the night, that he just went downstairs to the other bar.

Progressive House

But all that annoying nonsense didn't matter when Nick and Hernan took over.

They started spinning around 11:30pm! Five and I had only just arrived, and they were already up! I don't think I've ever been to a club in Chicago were the headliners started before Midnight. AND they continued on until the end of the night. Over 4 hours of pure Progressive House madness.

Nick started off with a couple smooth opening pieces, and gave the decks over to Hernan who followed it up with a deep vibe. They continued this trend through out the night. Nick would played 3-5 songs, and Hernan would follow up with another 3-5 songs, and it would go back to Nick.

Nick seemed to be leading the night. His miniture 20 minute sets would start off smooth and continue to build and build and build until the entire dance floor erupted in crazy cheers and dance. He'd give the decks back to Hernan and he would keep the vibe at the top of the room with a follow up 20 minute set. It was absolutely nuts how raw the night was. It kept building and keeping the level high all night.

I'm not as familar with the tracks Hernan was spinning, but I definitely caught a bunch of Nick's tracks from recent sets of his. My favorite moment of the night was Nick mixing his track Rumbletump into his other track Buenos Aires. My second favorite moment of the night was Hernan when he dropped Guy J & Henry Saiz - Meridian.

Edit! I was wrong. It was Eelke Kleijn's remix of Water Games being mixed into Buenos Aires. Still my favorite moment of the night, though. I love both those songs :)

I recorded the first 3 hours of the night, which can be found on youtube:


It was an incredible rare ocassion that two of the biggest names in Progressive House teamed up for a unique massive event. The entire crowd continued to rock out hard all night, and had nothing but smiles on their faces. I think this is the first event I've ever been to in Chicago, where (pretty much) every one was getting along, and being friendly for a change. Though, I think the nerds were in great attendance, so there weren't a lot of girls around on the dance floor messing everything up.

This was definitely the highlight of the year for me, and definitely in the top 5 music experiences of my life. It's up there with Sasha from 2003, Hybrid in 2004, Junkie XL is 2004, and The Chemical Brothers last year.

Plus I got my copy of Global Underground 24 signed!