The Crystal Method’s Epic Retirement

Bay Area party impresarios Opulent Temple – catering the hottest dance floors on and off the playa – just celebrated their 16th Anniversary this Saturday at Public Works. For this grand occasion, it was only right to bring The Crystal Method up from LA to destroy the dance floor. But this wasn’t just any soul-shattering, booty-poppin set from the rocktronica duo. It was their final show. Yup, you read that right. The Crystal Method just played their retirement party. And boy was it lit.

Scott Kirkland pulled his headphone band down over his eyes as he spun, looking like he stepped straight out of the Matrix. Without even being able to see the turntable, he played a tighter set than 90% of the DJs I’ve seen, glitchy and perfectly timed. Then Ken Jordan would swoop in and take the groove to a whole new level.

Singing along to their favorite rock classics like New Order’s ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’, the boys were having just as much fun as the club goers. Their enthusiasm was infectious and every single person in that room was getting down.

After two hours of unrelenting killer beats, the room quieted. Ken grabbed the mic and reflected on their roots in the early 90s rave scene – speaking of the power of these parties and this music to bring people together. “It’s all about unity!”  I must admit, I got a little teary eyed.

After the crowd begged for more, the boys conceded. “We’re going to end the night with the last song off our last record…” Ken said, then smirked. “Well, we can’t make any promises.” As the sexy moaning and hypnotic drum kick of ‘After Hours’ filled the packed club, everyone grabbed their sweetie de la nuit for one final, steamy dance.

The Crystal Method brought us iconic rave anthems such as ‘Keep Hope Alive’ (a call to keep raving despite authoritarian crackdown on the scene). To me, they embody American dance music – that vivacious whirlwind of rock, hip-hop, soul, and pop fueled by the unmatched power of the drum-machine. This musical fusion draws us all together on the dance floor – black, white, gay straight – this was music for everyone.

As my 90s heroes played their retirement party, I sent a prayer to the gods of rave to let these values remain embedded in our culture. We’ve seen EDM rise from the underground into the spotlight and now it’s time to share the peace, love, unity, and respect we learned on the dance floor with the world. I can only hope the next generation of DJs honor their roots and share the message through their music.

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