Published: February 13, 2013
Story by: Kellen Winters
Photos by: Lynn Millspaugh
Rough Chicago winters didn’t seem to hinder a slew of fans from coming out for house veteran Robbie Rivera alongside vocalist Wynter Gordon at The MID late last month.
The purple hue of The MID seemed to radiate from wall-to-wall amidst hundreds of club-goers. After wedging myself in a corner booth alongside my photographer, we quickly began to notice that though Rivera’s veteran fan base was apparently absent, there were certain folks who were eager to hear what the Puerto Rican-native had to bring to the table.
“…the energy is great tonight,” said Mandi Crothers. “…I’ve yet to see [Rivera] before tonight, but I’m excited to see what he’s got.”
By 11:30 PM, the MID was nearly at capacity. Bottles were poured (and spilled). It was only after being approached by a cocktail waitress who made false accusations of my “doing homework in the corner” that we were made aware that Rivera wouldn’t be hitting the stage until nearly 2 AM.
“...I’m sure it will be worth the wait,” said the waitress clad in partially transparent leotard and fishnets.
Any air of sobriety was absent as two o’clock struck. Swarms of people from all angles gathered in front of the small set that was prepped for Rivera and his counter.
Having worked with the likes of Mark Knight, David Guetta, and Sebastian Ingrosso, it was easy to see Rivera’s expert hand was about to be at work. And with almost fifteen years since producing a hit record, no one was really sure what to expect.
Rivera initially hit the stage with his classic, hard-hitting, electro-house beats that comprise the majority of his latest project (released in May of 2012), Dance or Die: the Album. The South Florida resident and DJ was looking to set the tone for the evening spinning, “Dance Your A** Off,” which serves an enticing build up for those who find his classic sound inevitably palatable.
As he spun on into the wee hours of the morning, both Rivera and Gordon were beginning to adapt to a more organic sound from what we’re accustomed to hearing from either artist. The music itself began to evolve into a sound that is more energetic and rigid. Following his club classic, “Forever Young,” the duo transitioned into an unrefined reverb, ending the evening with more than any audience member bargained for.
It is not difficult to understand the secret behind Rivera’s longevity in the game. Unintentionally showcasing his evolution of house music, proved that Rivera’s dedication and progressive success of his music label, Juicy Records, landed him at The MID in the first place.
In an interview with New Times Blogs, Rivera unveiled plans for his next major move in the industry—the UK. As he spoke in regards to his allegiance to house music and its ever-evolving sound, Rivera revealed his plans to drop a new single titled, “Thousand Miles” being launched off his newest label PK-1. As he gears up for his next big transition, Rivera told the site that it’s his maturity and overall personal evolution that still books him venues like the MID.
“Marriage made me more mature, more focused. I put everything into my marriage and my music to get to where I am today. In fact, today is my anniversary, and my wife and I are going to dinner. I gotta go.”