DJs are the modern rock stars.
On stage, they look like golden gods, surrounded by thousands of admirers and showered in fire. But behind the scenes, these seemingly superior beings aren't all that different from the rest of us.
Sure, they're making thousands of dollars a night. But without the fans, they're nothing. And Thomas Gold understands that essential truth. In fact, this big-room beatmeister from Berlin even considers his admirers to be the center of his world.
Fanfare is Gold's brand. It's the name of his successful radio show and podcast, as well as his current tour. And all of it, he insists, is a tribute to his loyal listeners, who he's been making a solid effort to get to know at every opportunity.
"At nearly every gig and every show, wherever it's possible, I try to meet up with people, with the fans, and I chat with them," Gold tells New Times. "It's all connected, and it's just about being connected to the fans as much as possible.
"It's great," he adds, "to see how enthusiastic fans can be and how much they're into it and how much they appreciate my work."
Thomas also knows he needs the fans if he wants to keep living his dream. Meeting one-on-one and talking with them, he says, is one of the best ways to keep your head straight and your feet grounded.
"I always ask the people, 'What do you think about Fanfare?' Because it's nice to get direct feedback from the fans. Otherwise, you can always talk to people on Twitter and Facebook, but it's not the real thing. I really think it helps a lot to stay connected to the fanbase."
And just where do some of his favorite fans reside? "I love Miami," Gold laughs. "It's just a great city. It's always like a holiday when I come."
Obviously, Thomas is totally stoked about returning to the 305. It's home of Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference, and Miami Music Week. And just this March, he took about 40 of his biggest fans on a private party bus tour of the city, an experience he calls a real highlight of his career.
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But it isn't just the fans. Gold is also in love with Miami's clubs. "I think LIV is one of those places with a nearly perfect setup," he gushes. "It's one of the best clubs in the world.
"But you can still connect to the people. It's just the right distance between you and the people. You can still look into their eyes and work with them. I feel very comfortable when I play at LIV, and I love the crowd."
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So what exactly is he planning for some of his favorite fans at one of his favorite party spots?
"I'm actually preparing a couple of really fresh new tracks and I want to try them out as soon as possible," he teases. "And LIV might be the one spot where I'm going to do it!"
Thomas Gold. With Mednas. Thursday, May 16. LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $40 to $60 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-674-4680 or visit livnightclub.com.