Back in my youth, backing up the night after New Year's Eve would've posed little to no problem. Now it takes a special event to convince me to face the hordes of eager young partygoers twice in 24 hours. A five-hour Sasha set is one such occasion, and, after being amazed by the man's set at Chinese Laundry in 2009, I was highly anticipating what he could do at his recent appearance The Metro as a part of the One Night Only series. Alongside Sasha was Matt Edwards, more widely known as Radio Slave. As 1 AM approached, Edwards was delivering a solid and familiar sound to The Metro. His set maintained a pretty strong groove without hitting any dizzy heights—perfect for the warm-up slot.
What to make of Sasha, then? Essentially, his five hours were good without being spectacular. Perhaps it was his crammed schedule that drained the energy out of him, or maybe it the crammed holiday schedule that had drained the energy out of me. Don't get me wrong, Sasha is playing some really good tracks at the moment. Be it through the sounds of Nicolas Masseyeff's "Mugen," the kind of track that puts the early stages of head warping into effect, or Luis Junior's hypnotic remix of "Metamorph," the night was never short of interesting and engaging music. There were bouncy moments like Andhim's interpretation of Piemont's "Purist" and anthems in the form of Pryda's remix of Henry Saiz. Despite the highlights, though, the set lacked the trademark flow that you expect from Sasha, especially considering he had a full five hours to work with. It was an up and down kind of night, and a night that I was never really immersed in.
That was the only sour point of the night, and, for many there, it was a point that probably didn't even register (judging by the amount of smiling faces up until the end at 6 AM). And, I must confess that I was quite happy I dragged my aging body out of the house just to hear some of the mind-blowing records that Sasha seems to conjure from his laptop. Unfortunately, however, the veteran's New Year's Day appearance just fell short.