DJ Dan with Jeff Feller

Friday, March 31; Cheetah

The competition that's boiling these days between downtown clubs Velvet and the Cheetah is wonderful, both for fans of electronic dance music and for the vibe along Washington Avenue in general. Without the clubs' ego-boostin' need to one-up each other, neither DJ Paul Oakenfold nor DJ Dan would be appearing in town this weekend, and we'd be left having to wear dancer-unfriendly hard-sole shoes in order to "gain" admission to the "exclusive" Voodoo Club. But we'll let the clubs hang themselves and rest well knowing that the competition reaching fever pitch on Washington is a win-win situation: Progressive house and trance freaks have two massive nights of house music ahead as evidence.

DJ Dan played a huge role importing European house music and rave culture to America in the early '90s. It was him, along with a few others, who kicked out monstrous LA parties that set the tone in America. Most mediocre DJs find a ridiculously narrow niche of the music and then milk it dry; DJ Dan dextrously melds disparate strands into a cohesive, engaging whole, and his knowledge ranges wide enough to allow him to move from entire hard-house sets to techno sets to big-beat sets on a whim. He's touring in support of his new mix CD, Another Late Night (Moonshine). Also on the bill is one of the best house DJs in St. Louis, Jeff Feller, whose knowledge of the ins and outs of the music rivals DJ Dan's.