My Week As Chuckie’s Tour Manager // by: Adam Levine

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The first time I saw Chuckie perform, was at Marquee Las Vegas on Labor Day Weekend in 2011, where he had played with Benny Benassi.  I was blown away, and immediately became a fan.  Chuckie’s track selections, energy, various tricks, incredible original productions, and flawless transitions between many different genres, made it impossible not to respect just how absolutely incredible he is on the decks.  He immediately became a musical hero of mine, and for any of you that know me, you know how powerful of a statement that is.  I have not missed a Chuckie show in the tri-state area since that epic night in Vegas, and he got my number one vote for DJMAG’s top 100 DJs for 2012.  Every time I went to his shows, I would say hi to him.  Eventually, he remembered me and we started talking which is no easy task for someone who plays an astounding 300 shows a year and has literally millions of people a year trying to say hi to him.  This really meant the world to me. 

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Behind every great DJ is a great Tour Manager.  In Chuckie’s case, that tour manager is a guy named Luke.  Luke has an extensive military and security background, and is one of the most driven, nice, and inspirational guys I’ve ever met.  Luke watches over Chuckie in almost every way including (but not limited to); security, handling luggage and equipment, being in constant contact with management, schedule execution, being in contact with venue artist relations, making sure Chuckie is happy and has what he needs at all times, etc…  The list goes on.  You might think the tour manager just handles stuff at a show, but it’s so much more than that.  It is an almost 24 hour a day job!

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Fast forward to Labor day weekend 2013.  My friend Hunter and I had decided last minute to fly out to Vegas, as it is always an amazing time to be there.  The deciding factor was that Chuckie would be spinning there.  The first show we went to was Chuckie at Marquee Dayclub.  It was incredibly fun there as always.  During the show, I had told Luke that I would be performing on the SoundcruiseNYC with Chuckie and VeniVici on Sept. 12th.  Luke told me he would not be with Chuckie that week, so I offered to fill in for him for that show.  He said he’d love if I looked after Chuckie that day, and I told him it would be my honor to help out.  Luke cares greatly about Chuckie and said “take care of him for me.”  We said our goodbyes later that evening at the Armin Van Buuren show at Marquee Nightclub.  When Sept. 12th rolled around, I had spoken to Luke throughout the day and Chuckie texted me that he was on his way to NY.  I don’t think I was ever more excited for a show in my life. 

 

I had arrived at the ship around 4pm just to make sure everything was set up according to plan.  I was given a quick tour of the ship, handled Chuckie’s guestlist, made sure riders were being handled properly, made sure the green room was up to par, and a few other things.  This was all two hours before Chuckie even landed.  On top of those responsibilities, I was spinning an hour long set at 8pm so I had a lot of friends coming and texting me as well.  Chuckie arrived around 7pm.  I met him at the car outside, said hi, grabbed his bags, and we made our way onboard and to the green room.  At 10pm, Chuckie began his set and went till around 12:15.  I had arranged dinner for us around that time, so we had to run off of the ship and go straight to the restaurant.  We ate quickly, and then headed down to Lavo nightclub in NY.  Chuckie wanted to show some love to Tiesto who was spinning that night.  We stayed at Lavo until around 4am.  After that, I walked Chuckie out and put him in a cab to go back to his hotel.  He invited me to join him the next day at Shrine nightclub at the MGM Grand Foxwoods Hotel and Casino.  I went home, took a shower, slept a few hours, and then went to meet up with Chuckie at his hotel.

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I arrived to Chuckie’s hotel around 6pm to find him immersed in work on two different laptops.  I thought to myself “does this guy get a minute to relax?”  I called the car company to make sure our pickup was on time.  The car to bring us to Shrine came at 7pm, and we were off to Connecticut.  On the way up there, I was texting with Alysha who does artist relations at Shrine and letting her know where we are and our eta.  The people who do “Artist relations,” are like the tour manager for the venue.  They make sure everything runs smoothly and the artist is happy.  Alysha did a stellar job of that.  We arrived at MGM Grand at Foxwoods around 10pm.  Alysha brought us right upstairs to the room.  She also had food sent up for us from the Shrine restaurant which was great.  Chuckie had a few friends come to the show, so I set up his guest list with Alysha as well.  After eating, Chuckie took a shower and we headed down to the club.  We walked in to Shrine around 11:50 and Chuckie started at 12.  He played a MASSIVE two hour set, and wanted to keep going but the venue has a strict 2 o’clock curfew.  After the show, we went back to the room and tried to get some rest.  It’s not easy to fall asleep when the adrenaline is still pumping from a show.  Chuckie eventually fell asleep and so did his friends in the other room.  I stayed up because our pick up to the airport was in two hours and I knew I needed to make sure everyone was ready to go in time.

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The car picked us up at 8:15am and took us to Hartford airport.  Chuckie had generously invited his friends and I to go with him for the next two days to Seattle and Vegas.  Chuckie and his friends got on a plane for Seattle, and I was on one right behind them.  Chuckie was scheduled to play from 8-9 at the Digital Affair festival at Puyallup Washington.  He played a sick set where everyone in the place went crazy, and then it was time to leave again.  As soon as Chuckie took his USB drives out of the machines, we had to make a beeline for the waiting car to head right back to the airport.  We had a plane waiting to take us to Vegas so he could perform at Marquee Nightclub that evening.  We boarded the plane and left Seattle around 10pm.  On the way to the airport, I was texting with Marquee Artist Relations.  A gentleman named Pedram.  We landed at 12:10am in Las Vegas and the car was waiting for us at the airport.  As soon as we landed, I called Pedram and told him we were on the way.  Now keep in mind that it’s now 12:15 as we’re pulling out of the airport, and Chuckie is supposed to be onstage at 1am!  We arrived at the beautiful Cosmopolitan hotel around 12:40.  Pedram was waiting for us in front of the hotel.  I grabbed the bags and we raced upstairs to the room.  We threw our stuff into the room and then raced downstairs to Marquee.

 

Pedram walked us up to the booth, Chuckie plugged into the machines, and started what was to be one of the most epic sets I’ve ever seen.  He ended up playing from 1am until a little after 7am.  The place was packed the entire time.  Throughout the night, Pedram was constantly checking in and making sure we were ok.  After his set, the owners of Marquee, Jason Strauss & Noah Tepperberg invited Chuckie outside to the day club, where they had an incredible breakfast waiting for him and a few VIPs with every kind of food imaginable.  They even had someone bring the famous In and Out burgers!  Jason and Noah really know how to take care of people, and that’s why they’re at the top of the nightlife world.  The professionalism and courtesy of the staff, especially Pedram, at Marquee Las Vegas is absolutely incredible.

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We got back to the room around 8am, and Chuckie’s next pick up was at 8:30am.  You read that right.  He got ready, and I walked him down to the car as my flight left later that night.  I looked at him and said “Wow, you’re a fucking beast.” he replied “This is what I do man. Thanks for all of your help.”  I went to sleep for a few hours, caught my buddy Maor Levi and Norin & Rad at Marquee Dayclub, and then went home to New York.  Chuckie boarded a plane from Vegas to New York to London to Ibiza.  That’s 20+ hours in the air!

 

Everyone thinks being a touring DJ is an easy job.  I thought that too.  Boy, was I wrong!  It’s constant travel and work.  Besides the obvious actual spinning, Chuckie has so many other obligations to take care of.  Interviews, business matters, traveling, etc.  He does roughly 300 gigs a year with virtually no sleep or relaxation time.  While Chuckie handles all of that, Luke is in constant contact with Chuckie’s excellent management team who are based in Netherlands, UK, and Aruba, all of the people involved with travel, and the venue artist relations people.  Now don’t get me wrong, I had the time of my life those few days, and if I kept going I’d definitely be able to continue doing it.  I really have to give Chuckie and Luke the utmost respect to be able to pull it off as flawlessly as they do.  They are the epitome of the word “Professional.”

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I highly recommend that you catch Chuckie at HQ Nightclub at the Revel Hotel in Atlantic City on October 13th., and anywhere else he spins.  I promise you will have an amazing time!

-Adam Levine for EDMNYC

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