He may be 50, but somehow Pete Tong is still cool. He wouldn’t have got to hang on to his electronic music show on the UK’s BBC Radio One for 20 years if he wasn’t bang up to date. Despite lending his name to the film It’s All Gone Pete Tong, about a decadent superstar DJ who goes deaf, this consummate professional has never really lost it. Not for him, the excesses of the 1990s superstar DJ generation. While others melted down into drugs and debauchery, Pete Tong sailed through a divorce, married a Brazilian model and bought a villa in Ibiza.
For Tong, it’s always been about business and music, in equal measures, and business means balancing a keen awareness of what’s cool and new with what’s commercial. And making sure he DJs with all the right people in all the right places. When the Ibiza season kicks off, it means hosting his signature night, Wonderland, at Pacha’s Eden club. Nowadays he makes records too, working with producer Paul Rogers as Tong and Rogers, remixing names like Kings of Leon and Underworld and releasing their own club grooves.
And like everything else in his career, he does it rather well. So as this tour reaches its penultimate show at Itaim’s chi-chi Disco club, we can expect a set that combines cutting-edge sounds with enough rocking anthems to keep the crowd grooving – a mix that’s unlikely to ever go Pete Tong.