The last time we were at Revel, Atlantic City’s newest and most extravagant casino, we spent our night partying in it’s spacious Ovation Hall, accompanied by Avicii’s prog-pop productions and impressive light show. For our second trip down the Jersey shoreline our plans were to leave the concert hall and enter HQ – Revel’s recently opened megaclub – to see the young and prolific Pierce Fulton, whose eclectic tastes were in sharp contrast to Avicii’s progressive offerings.
HQ is Atlantic City’s answer for the big room club experience, its high-faulted ceiling, VIP mezzanine and custom sound system have effectively transported the feel of Mansion in Miami to the shores of New Jersey. Aside from its impeccable sound, the lighting production is also state of the art, huge LED walls ensconce the DJ booth while a massive lighting rig brings a festival-esque experience to the posh night club dance floor. Their list of residents is impressive and their focus on talent is commendable – this isn’t DJ Paulie D’s turf.
When we arrived for Pierce’s 1am set time the club was packed, there was a massive line snaking throughout the casino floor. It was readily apparent that in less than a month after opening, HQ had asserted itself as the spot to be on Saturday nights in Atlantic City. Inside the club, the familiar glow of massive white glowsticks peppered the expansive dance floor. Masses of people weaved their way through bottle service clients and their personal dancing platforms, all for a chance to get closer to the booth to experience the groove-heavy set by the young DJ.
Pierce’s sets are a reflection of his personality – a charming, well-spoken and down to earth 20 something who knows his music and understands his purpose. There are very few frills here, no gags, no distracting props – just Pierce and the music.
During his set, similar to his Get Weird podcasts, Pierce effortlessly transitioned from house, disco, electro, progressive and back again – each selection more surprising than the next, with each new track driving the energy of the room as it ebbed and flowed until nearly 4am. From the insane fidget house of Angger Dimas to the progressive-hybrid style of Boys Will Be Boys, Pierce’s performance was exactly what we expected — the type of unpredictable set that could only come from someone who truly appreciates the music.
Felix Cartal – Domo (Pierce Fulton Remix)
Pierce’s remix of “Domo” set the tone for the night with it’s fast-paced percussion and big electro stabs.
Angger Dimas & Bassjackers – RIA (Original Mix)
Angger Dimas and Bassjackers teamed up to create “RIA” earlier this year, their two distinctly different sounds coming together to create the high-octane, fidget house track. Incredible percussion, big builds and an ever present cowbell grab you and refuse to let you go – if Pierce’s goal was to get weird, this track did the trick.
Destructo feat. Oliver – Technology (Original Mix)
When Pierce dropped Destructo’s “Technology” the feel of the room quickly changed. Its driving, gritty bass line and deep industrial ambiance shook the crowd. Those who paid their cover and thought they were going to hear a Top 10 Beatport chart were sorely disappointed, but for the music fans in the crowd “Technology” served as our wake up call.
Wolfgang Gartner – Girl on Girl (Original Mix)
Off of Wolfgang Gartner’s Casual Encounters of the 3rd Kind EP, “Girl on Girl” showcases Wolfgang’s impressive talent for creating fresh and interesting electro-house productions. Its simple beat is accompanied by a complicated cacophony of filtered pops, clicks and chords.
Boys Will Be Boys – We Rock (Original Mix)
On “We Rock,” Boy Will Be Boys kick off with a bouncy techno intro that quickly morphs into a synth-heavy, big room build and rewarding drop. The perfect combination of progressive and techno, “We Rock” proves that progressive doesn’t always have to be predictable.
We understand that there is a stigma associated with Atlantic City and its club scene that is hard to ignore. Aside from the late DJ AM and his proposed Dusk residency, Atlantic City has rarely focused on talent – HQ seeks to change that. They have spared no expense on its interior and sound, their upcoming schedule is stacked with talent, and their goal is one we can all get behind…to bring dance music to the forefront of New Jersey’s oft-dismissed beach town.