Big Beats, Big Parties, and Big Pimping: Local DJs Share 16 Years of Axis-Radius Memories
The nightlife-loving cats at Scottsdale's Axis-Radius are planning one helluva party this weekend that likely will go down as one of the most memorable in the club's 16-year history. Sadly, that's because the iconic and influential establishment is about to become history.
Melissa Fossum A packed dance floor at Axis-Radius in Scottsdale.
If you haven't heard the news, the double-sided nightclub, dance joint, and party playground is closing its doors on Saturday night after more than a decade and a half of slinging both beats and booze to thousands of clubgoers and serving as one of the more influential and landmark spots in Old Town.
Since its beginnings as a cigar and martini joint in 1997, Axis and then later Radius, functioned as a haven for all manner of drinking and dancing by the bottle-popping crowd, as well as playing host to more than a few celebrities, pro athletes, and other members of the glitterati. And then there's the hundreds of DJs and EDM artists - both locally and nationally known - who have pulled a set there over the last 16 years.
A surfeit of superstars and some of the biggest more recognizable names in the biz -- from Above and Beyond to Z-Trip, the great godhead of the Valley DJ scene -- have pulled spin gigs at either Axis or Radius, not to mention a nonstop stream of local selectors, beat-jugglers, and platter jocks who have passed through the place or staged a spin gig since the late '90s.
In honor of Axis-Radius' big two-night swan song that kicks off later this evening, we reached out to many of the local DJs who have graced the place with their presence - some of who will be performing at the final parties -- for some of their favorite memories of the club or tidbits from its storied history.
Longtime club promoter/Former Axis-Radius DJ
In the Beginning: Axis opened by itself as a cigar and martini bar in 1997. Tuesdays was this great Latin night with Passport. Celebrities were hanging out there all the time. I remember Steve Young singing with Passport on a Tuesday night. Ladies night was on Thursday. Friday night was what we took over and really created like something special as far as a Friday night was concerned. For me, I was always trying to come up with a great promotion or a great theme or a great celebrity host type of thing. It was a lot of fun.
Meeting owner Les Corieri: Everyone would always say, "He's so mean, you don't want to work with that guy," and I thought, "No way." I didn't know what to believe and then I went and met him at Starbucks on Indian Bend and he was the greatest guy. And I continued working with him and got my night started and started DJing. Literally two weeks later we were promoting and I was DJing regularly, starting with Friday nights and then just building from there.
Changing with the Times: To me, there's not too many places that have had a run like that. Name 10 other clubs that have been open 16 years? I don't think anyone can do it. And after constantly updating and renovating and changing. The DJ [at Radius] was almost out of sight, out of mind because it was all about the bar. Then, all of a sudden, it's downstairs so people can feel the music and the DJ's front and center. It's literally progressed with the times.