Getting Grimy at the Dirtybird BBQ

August 22, 2014 -

Hill Coulson

Before Dirtybird Records emerged as the powerhouse label we know today, it was simply a barbecue. The free event in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park became a local fixture for dark, grooving house music – in contrast to the melodic vocal house that was popular at the time. Inspired by these gatherings, producer Claude VonStroke launched the label in 2005 and has since built its roster and reputation to worldwide acclaim. Today, the Dirtybird BBQ maintains its same sense of familial spirit and good times with a traveling concert that makes stops in Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, and more.

Justin Martin brought his #SHIPFAM in tow


I was lucky enough to catch the Brooklyn date of the tour at 50 Kent this past Sunday. It was my first time attending a concert of this nature and the difference between the BBQ and a typical EDM concert was remarkable. For one, there wasn't a stage – just a tent at ground level and a simple setup of CDJs, a few amps, and maybe two LED structures. Even better the crowd didn't clamor to get the best sight line of the DJs. Instead, they spread across the open venue space which left plenty of room to eat, converse, and most importantly, dance.

The crowd cools off in style


Drawing influences from old school hip-hop and funk, the Dirtybird players laid down a varied mix of deep-toned house tunes that could be heard from down the block. Sets from Ardalan, Justin Jay, and Kill Frenzy warmed up the crowd, along with some particularly bumping performances from the Martin brothers and Claude VonStroke himself. Legendary New York hip-hop group EPMD closed out the night. For more pictures, view our full album from the Dirtybird BBQ on Facebook.

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