Five in The Fenway: David Day on His Top Shows in the Neighborhood
David Day’s fingerprints are all over Boston’s electronic music scene. As a co-founder of the Mmmmaven Project, a music technology lab teaching the ins and outs of DJing and production, he has helped to develop an up and coming crop of homegrown musicians. As an organizer of the annual Together Festival, now in its seventh year, he has played a significant role in curating the region’s only celebration of music, art, and technology. Even from the sidelines, he has helped drive the discussion surrounding the house music movement, in his past capacity as music editor of the Weekly Dig (now DigBoston). So with this this year’s Together Fest looming (May 15th to 22nd), David came up with his five most memorable shows in The Fenway.
I would probably start at Machine, the nightclub. It’s a huge dance floor with a genuinely massive sound system and really excellent lighting. At the festival, in 2012, we brought Photek to celebrate his DJ Kicks mix, and those mixes are sort of landmark mixes, always have been in our community. We presented it with a group called Music Ecology, so it was Together and Music Ecology presents Photek. It really symbolized a kind of coming of age, I guess, for everyone that was involved. Bringing together those people who didn’t know each other, that’s kind of the point of the festival. And being that it was Photek, who’s just a legend, and he crushed it, everybody had a great time. The decorations were on point and the sound was on point. It was a good moment for everyone involved.
Sasha & John Digweed, March 29, 2002, Avalon
You really can’t talk about Fenway Park or The Fenway neighborhood without talking about Avalon. For a lot of people, there were a lot of memories going to that club and I think a lot of people miss it. I had just moved here, and Sasha & Digweed played at Avalon. As a duo, production-wise, DJ-wise, Sasha & Digweed were on the edge, every show was always memorable because they were so professional and took it seriously. I remember meeting a few people there that I still know today and I think that’s always special.
Pantha Du Prince, May 31, 2007, Rocket Bar
Pantha Du Prince at the Rocket Bar, which is now the kitchen for the House of Blues, I guess? But, for I don’t even know how long, there was club called Rocket Bar there and we brought Pantha Du Prince. For a while, we had a little crew called Basstown that brought Diplo to Great Scott. Passion Pit sort of came out of Basstown. But Pantha Du Prince at Rocket Bar was a money loss. Many times in our history, we’ve lost money on shows just to be able to say hey, we brought him. And I knew going in that there probably wasn’t a way we could come out in the black on Pantha Du Prince, but his music is so gorgeous and romantic and lyrical. It was five bucks to get in, which is insane. So Basstown in general, I’m pretty proud of its legacy.
Animal Collective, May 14, 2009, House of Blues
Animal Collective at the House of Blues was amazing. All they did to open the show was blast “More Than a Feeling” by the band Boston. It started kind of quiet, and they played the whole song, and as the song went through, they kept turning it up. They weren’t even on stage. But that song, it’s so good and that album is so good, and Boston the band was formed out of MIT, they were very technologically advanced. So for a lot of nerds, a lot of record nerds, hi-fidelity types, it was awesome to see them recognize that, you know, “Hey, we’re playing Boston, we’ve gotta play ‘More Than a Feeling,’ obviously.”
Dig This Awards, November 2008, Church
DigBoston, you know, the Weekly Dig, I was the music editor and I came back from San Francisco to take that job. It was open and it was a job I’ve always wanted. I literally moved across the country back by myself to take the job. And that was my first kind of role as music editor, DJing at the Dig This Awards, which is kind of an annual awards for local businesses. I spun yacht rock, which is like 70s white funk. It was special for me because I think people were expecting me to play techno or something or house or EDM, whatever people call it now. Instead, I came in there and played a bunch of 70s soulful funk. It was a way for me to reintroduce myself to the scene and to the music community at large and make sure they all know I’m much more interested in all music than just techno music.