Vanilla ACE US Tour Diary


When we heard London house/bass heavyweight Vanilla ACE (a.k.a. Sam Young) was about to embark on an eight-date tour of North America in August, we asked him if he’d keep a tour diary of his travels. He’s well-acquainted with America, having done a fair share of traveling to America before he set out on his career as a DJ/producer. Currently riding high on the strength of his recent Night Steppin’ EP’ on Sharam Jey’s Bunny Tiger Records, his DJ dates provided him with deeper insight into the ever-evolving U.S. club scene.

I’ve been visiting the US since childhood. My first trip by myself was in August 2001 when I visited NYC for 10 days to go record shopping and visit some clubs. I remember buying so much vinyl I was worried about how I was going to get it back to London. Luckily Mark Ronson’s then manager Damon DeGraff used Virgin Records’ Fed Ex service for me. I remember my Mum calling me the next day saying a load of boxes had arrived!

I started touring the US properly in 2010. This was when I was playing open format, pre-Vanilla Ace days, so I am used to playing here and how the crowds are. My first Vanilla ACE tour was December 2013. I remember the very first show in a Brooklyn gym turned into a rave for Rinsed third birthday anniversary. It was raining hard outside but inside was a full-on party. Crystal Waters performed as well which was awesome.

My brother used to live in LA for five years as well so I used to go and visit him when I could. If I lived in the US it would be a toss-up between NYC or LA both have so much to offer. I defiantly wouldn’t the LA sunshine and beaches everyday.

This was on someone’s balcony at Splash House festival where I was playing, love the tongue in cheek sense of humor about it, made me laugh.


This is the set times of Splash House when I played, I sometimes have to pinch myself when I see my name amongst legends like MK and Aeroplane.


I had some friends from London in LA so we went to Universal studios. It’s my fifth time there easily! Never gets boring.


This was my first time visiting Six Flags Magic Mountain and it’s by far the best theme park I’ve ever been to! The roller coasters are amazing.


View from the Splash House DJ booth…


Before my last show in Austin I had some days off there…great city with lots to see and do.


The realities of touring…the photo below was taken at Up North Festival in Michigan. A picture speaks a thousand words.


I’ve never had watermelon sorbet so thought I would treat myself when I saw it…so yummy!


This was taken at Effex Rooftop in Albuquerque in New Mexico. It was a great night and vibe — probably one of the best shows of the tour.


This was my second time playing at the MID in Chicago…great club and sound system. Dom Dolla from Australia played with me this time.


Darren Ressler

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