“That’s always my motto,” says the 45-year-old, globetrotting mega-producer and elder statesman of glossy, pumping, ecstatic techno.
“It’s always a good energy at my shows and it brings out the energy and happiness in people. If you’re scratching your chin and not happy, I guess EDM is not for you.”
Tiesto is on a world tour promoting the June LP “A Town Called Paradise,” his fifth solo project. Decidedly more poppy than previous efforts, “Paradise” has more vocals than his trancey back catalog. Singles “Red Lights” and “Wasted” fit on Top 40 radio, and he’ll mix ’em up with his explosive classics Sunday.
In the game since 1997, Tiesto says San Francisco has a special place in his heart.
“San Francisco is one of the first towns I ever played. It’s always had great dance music — from the beginning. EDM was already big there in the ’90s. I’ve played everything there — from small clubs to Ruby Skye and big venues. It’s always great to play there.”
Changes San Francisco technologists have wrought upon music are head-spinning, the veteran DJ says. Artists can’t make money off recordings anymore, while live shows are bigger than ever: “I don’t think anyone could have imagined this 15 or 20 years ago,” he said. “For both worlds there’s something to say, I think.”
Indeed, Billboard reported Tiesto made $35 million last year playing chic Vegas casinos and 60,000-crowd mega-festivals.
“I did make a lot of money last year. It was a good year, “ he says.
It’s not like Tiesto has bought a boat or a jet or anything. “I don’t have a boat or a jet — no. My dad always told me, ‘When it flies or it floats, you’re better off renting it.’”
He adds, “I have a very expensive taste in jackets. I have a jacket fetish, I think. And I also love to eat at really fancy restaurants. When I’m in a town, I always look for the best possible restaurants to eat.”
A cold weather-ready foodie? No wonder he fits right in: “It’s good to be coming back to San Francisco,” he says.
IF YOU GO
Where: Outside Lands, Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks Stage
When: 8:25 to 9:35 p.m. Sunday
John Digweed: The English house techno legend’s show may be like Tiesto’s — but without 60,000 people spilling beer on you. 9 p.m., $40. Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F., (415) 626-7001, www.mighty119.com
Dam-Funk: Zag while the masses zig, and tiptoe across the Bay to catch the funk master, opening for the charming, fierce Little Dragon. 8 p.m., $29.50. Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 302-2250, www.thefoxoakland.com
Gold Panda: Rolling your eyes at the well-worn tropes of festival techno? See you South of Market, then. Doseone opens. 10 p.m., $25. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F., (415) 625-8880, www.mezzaninesf.com