As a DJ and music producer based in Brooklyn, I’ve played and seen hundreds of local shows. Saturday night was certainly a new experience. Opening for veteran DJ Paul Oakenfold was someone I’ve never laid eyes on: Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, or ‘D-Sol’ as he goes by on stage. I listened to his EDM remix of the Fleetwood Mac classic, Don’t Stop, the night before the show, but otherwise didn’t know him as a DJ. Apparently it’s been a hobby of his for a few years. This weekend was surely his biggest moment.
My initial reaction to hearing about Solomon’s dalliance with DJing was a combination of humor and annoyance, basically amounting to one colossal eyeroll. His entry into the club circuit is at best a funny sight and at worst a threat to my contemporaries and me, who rely on DJing as a source of income.
The party took place at Schimanski, a 750-person capacity nightclub located in one of the busiest areas of Brooklyn that has hosted everything from DJ superstars to underground raves. Not exactly where you’d expect to run into a bank CEO, never mind a spot where you’d see him perform. The 10,000-square-foot room felt relatively full and energetic when Solomon took the stage just after 11:30pm. He donned big, white headphones and an almost affectedly-casual baseball cap and graphic t-shirt. I thought to myself that he looked less like a DJ and more like an undercover cop. Projectors displayed the ‘D-Sol’ logo, in bubble-font letters, on every wall surrounding the dance floor. I didn't notice any bodyguards, but the stage was connected to the VIP area and there was a ton of security in the club.
The crowd dressed mostly in semi-formal attire and sipped expensive cocktails. It was the type of scene you might expect to find in a bottle-service club in Midtown Manhattan. Looking around, I noticed that the room was bursting with cellphones. Everyone apparently understood the significance of the spectacle in front of them and wanted to document it for themselves.
Solomon’s set was fast and energetic right from the get-go. By the second song, most phones had vanished, and the shock of the situation gave way to dancing. People seemed to be enjoying themselves. His transitions were at times quite rough, but not awful, and his selection certainly matched the overall mood of the room. It had quickly become your typical, mainstream EDM party.
As time went on, the glint of nervousness and excitement in Solomon’s expression proved disarming, even for me, and the imperfection of his performance actually endeared me to him. While I hated just about every song he played, I had to admit that he appeared earnest and genuinely enthusiastic about the music, and I appreciated that he was really going for it.
Just don’t expect to see D-Sol headlining Coachella anytime soon. It’s a hobby for a reason.
***Noah Sadler is a pseudonym for a professional Brooklyn DJ who requested anonymity to write the piece.
Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by actual human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t).