Making Time Turns Nine

Recapping the most memorable Making Time Moments with its head DJ in charge, Dave P.

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 19, 2009

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Nine years ago Dave Pianka, aka Dave P., was a barista with a dream. Through his work at Last Drop Coffeehouse he’d made friends with several local DJs and started going to their nights—Sorted, Rock and Roll Overdose and the Turnaround. After a bit of time he began to think, along with friend Ani Bejian, about putting those three nights under the same roof for a one-off clusterfuck of dancing, good vibes and sunshine. That night, Making Time, held in 2000 the Sunday before Memorial Day (Transit was unwilling to give a primo Friday or Saturday slot for something yet unproven), was a smashing success. Six-hundred-and-fifty people showed, and the sexy baby you now know and love was born.

And it’s been an incredible life, one jam-packed with impressive performances—Crystal Castles, Hercules and Love Affair, LCD Soundsystem, Franz Ferdinand, the Hives, the Rapture, literally a milliondy others—and a dedicated audience. Now on the cusp of the Making Time 9 Year Anniversary Freakout—free Sparks and PBR from 9 to 11, more DJs than you can shake a stick at, tickets available at Last Drop and Tequila Sunrise Records—I asked Dave P. to sit down, think real hard, and come up with the most memorable Making Time Moments from the last almost-decade.

The One-Year Anniversary, Memorial Day Weekend 2001. “We had the Strokes playing the party. I first heard of the Strokes at a party in New York at the house of the guy who later became their manager. He played me a demo tape—yes, a tape—of some of their recordings and I freaked out. I told him about Making Time and that we had our one-year anniversary coming up. I basically booked them right there. The night of the party was magical. I remember watching the Strokes play from the DJ booth at Transit, which was on the dancefloor facing the stage at the time. They were the perfect band to have play. The entire crowd was dancing and it was most peoples’ first time ever hearing them. It was apparent at that moment that this band was going to be huge.”

Feb. 1, 2002, Making Time with the Faint. “This was the biggest Making Time yet with over 1,200 people. We weren’t used to having a crowds like this and neither was the club. It was one of those nights that at any moment could have turned into a complete disaster. While the Faint were playing, the dancefloor was literally buckling from the crowd dancing on the main floor. People in the basement could actually see the ceiling moving from the crowd above. A few songs into their set one of the speakers fell and almost crushed someone in the crowd. Luckily, one of the bouncers held the speaker up. After that happened I went over to the side where the speaker fell, climbed up a metal pole that was next to the speakers and held the speaker up from falling while holding myself on the pole with my legs.”

Oct. 1, 2004, Making Time with Bloc Party. “Again, this was a situation that was very similar to when the Strokes played. I was at the Rough Trade store in London a few months prior and heard a 7-inch of ‘She’s Hearing Voices’ by Bloc Party. I thought it was the best thing I’d heard in years. There was an email on the sleeve so I sent an email to that address and Gordon, the bass player in the band, immediately replied. After a few emails we had basically confirmed them playing Making Time during their first trip to America. I rented a van for the weekend and a few friends of mine drove to NYC and picked them up and drove them to Philly to play. We arrived to Philly and that night I saw what was probably one of the best live performances at Making Time ever to this day. Bloc Party played with so much energy and everyone there freaked out like crazy people to a band they’d never heard before.”

Any of the three times Soulwax Night Versions have played Making Time. “I feel like Soulwax Night Versions are one of the most exciting bands of our time. Every time they’ve played has been incredible. Even when they had to play with a Phillies World Series game projected on them.” 

Nov. 3, 2006, with Justice, Hot Chip, the Rapture, Digitalism and Lo Fi Fnk. “Basically if this Making Time happened in 2009 it would be an outdoor festival for 10,000-plus people. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to top the lineup we had that night. I remember during the soundchecks we couldn’t fit all the bands’ gear on-stage and at one point I thought that there was no way this night was going to happen. It was truly epic.”

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