When I planned my holiday to Vietnam, there were a number of attractions and things to do on my itinerary. Obviously, I wanted to enjoy the legendary nightlife you can experience in Saigon and Hanoi. This wasn’t all though. I also wanted to see the War Remnants Museum, West Lake, the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica and the Hanoi Opera House, amongst other things. While I saw many of these places, one experience stuck out the most.
My Past as a DJ
Let’s back up a bit. Long before my trip to Vietnam, I had worked as a DJ. For the most part, it was always just a part-time gig. However, that’s not to say I didn’t make good money doing it and have a great time in the process.
I always used traditional DJ equipment too. This meant loading and unloading plenty of hardware whenever I played a gig. At the time, I guess I really didn’t mind. After all, how else could you do it?
One Fateful Night in Saigon
Alright, so toward the end of my first week, I had seen most of the aforementioned cultural locations. I was also more familiar with the city I was staying in at the time, Saigon. So I figured it was high time I went out and began enjoying the sights and sounds that occur when the sound goes down. If you don’t know, Saigon is notorious for its night life, especially the club culture. Being a former club kid myself, this was a dream come true.
Plus, by then I had made some friends. The Vietnamese are very friendly and a number of them volunteered to take me out at night.
I won’t name the club we were at (it will become obvious why in a second), but originally things were going great. The DJ was alright and there were tons of people just having a blast. Then, out of nowhere, the music stopped. It was probably a full minute before it started again and then it was just stock music—like top 40 songs.
To this day, I’m still not sure what happened to the DJ. He was basically gone when the lights came on. I had mentioned earlier to one of my Vietnamese friends that I had experience DJing and, it turns out, he knew the bar owner. Within about five minutes of the music turning off, I was behind the DJ’s setup—nothing but a laptop.
DJing with a Laptop
To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I went from being another club goer to becoming the master of ceremonies in short order. Fortunately, the setup was a laptop. I had never used one before to DJ (my hardware of choice was always turntables), but the setup was extremely intuitive. I was surprised how the interface basically combined aspects of traditional hardware, giving you all your options in one place. When using some of the best DJ software it really is easy, you can read more here.
I’m happy to report my set was a hit, even if people were being a bit generous. However, I’ve started DJing since and now I only use software on my laptop. No more inconvenient turntables.