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Winter Music Conference 2005: Saturday
by translucent: 03-26-2005


After Sander K on the terrace, I wind up at the Rest, Relax, Recover bash back at the Fairwinds again. They have another great lineup with Lazarus, Holden and Three, to name a few. Holden is actually really good. By now some more GN'ers who didn't close out the terrace show up and the party kicks up a notch. My body is so used to lack of sleep and nourishment that I'm not even remotely tired. Regardless, we all agree to have a real dinner at Yuca later in the evening. As great as the food is, I can barely finish a gazpacho and an appetizer. I guess my stomach shrank to the size of a walnut and by now, my body wasn't used to consuming anything that wasn't toxic.

After dinner, I decide to stop by Tantra for D:Fuse and Groovefire while everyone else heads off to Space for the Yoshitoshi/Bullitt party. Since I've got a comp from Yoshitoshi and am on the industry list, I won't have to deal with the line bullshit. I figure I might as well as show my boys some support before heading to Space. Tantra is packed to the walls. While the Groovefire guys are spinning a fun set, it's kinda hard to enjoy it. The space in front of the booth is a narrow passageway. Every other minute, a waiter or waitress storms through the crowd as if carrying a football to the line during the Superbowl. On top of that, they happen to all be rather tall (from my perspective anyhow. I'm 5'7"). My head is at elbow level for them. The staff is throwing their pointy elbows around like Thai kickboxers as they try to get patrons out of their way. After about half an hour of depending on my Ninja skills to avoid an elbow to the eye, I decide to escape to Space.

It's about 5am and there's a clusterfuck of epic proportions in front of the door. Every year, the line is usually pretty bad for this party. This year, Space had new management and it was ten times worse than anything I had ever seen. Good thing I had comps and could just cut to the front. I get to the front as politely as I can and tell the door guy I'm comped and with Yoshitoshi. He tells me there are no more comps for the night. WTF?!? There must be some mistake. Nope, no mistake. Fine, I figure. At least I'd get reduced admission with my name being on the Yoshi/Bullitt list and all. About a half hour later, the list girl shows up. I explain to her that I should have a comp and she looks up my name on her list. Nope. Not there. Back of the line!

Since by now, I'm in danger of being crushed against the metal barricade they set up in front of the door, I figure I'd stand across the street and wait for someone to walk me in. Best bet would be to get a hold of Sharam to straighten all of this out. Of course it occurs to me that him and Ali are probably too busy spinning to a crowd of thousands to leave the booth to take care of some chump who didn't get to the party early enough. I go through my cell's phone book and start calling some other peeps inside who could walk me in. As expected, most of them are probably blitzed by now and won't even notice their phones ringing or perhaps even care to pick it up if they did. Another hour passes as I keep redialing. Eventually, I reach one of my boys. He tells me not to go anywhere because someone will be right down to walk me in…as soon as he finds that person. Another hour passes. I figure I should probably try someone else. Same story…"don't go anywhere…Stay right there!"

Another hour. By now, I had invested so much time waiting around outside of Space that there was no way I was going to give up and go home. Patrick shows up with a bunch of hot girls he picked up at Crobar. We cut to the front. Hot girls can always just walk right in with whatever guys they're with. A cop standing at the door parts the barricade and motions us in. Finally! Out of courtesy, we let the girls walk in first. As the last one passes by the cop, he closes the barricade right before us. "Just them," he smirks. Jerkoff! It's bad enough that we're stuck outside while all our friends are partying it up inside, but by the time we'd get in at this rate, some other bastards would make off with the girls. By now, people on the terrace were leaning over the wall and taunting the plebs below. Talk about insult to injury. Space wasn't even honoring the Space Pass that people bought in advance. Thanx for the money, suckers!

It's after 9am. Most of the people in line had given up and gone home. Finally, the doormen start letting people in. The Space Pass was miraculously valid again. Only problem is that I never bought one. I haven't had to pay for Space all conference. I had a comp for tonight and figured it was pointless for me to get one. As my friends go inside, I'm standing outside getting worried. By now, I had abandoned all hope of anyone actually coming down to walk me in. Luckily, another doorman announces that the cash admission line is to the side. The price is $80 cash. What the fuck, I tell myself. Haven't paid all week. I guess $80 for three nights at Space isn't so bad. I hand over the cash and go inside.

Just as my mood starts to pick up, I walk into a mob of people standing in the hallway at the entrance to the main floor. There is a bouncer with a barricade blocking it off. No one is allowed in. The only option is to hang out in line, in the empty side room or to go home. Another hour goes by. No one is getting by without a bribe. Fuck that! I'm not going anywhere or paying another penny to these leeches. Another half an hour passes and the fucknut starts letting people in. The main floor is nearly empty. WTF! Slick scam they've got going there. Since by now, the terrace is the main attraction, a bunch of us head for the stairwells. Guess what! Another bouncer guarding the only stairwell open. Another wait. Another hour. He probably wants more bribes.

As some of the guys mull over the idea of breaking open their piggy banks. I decide to just wait it out on the couch by the ladies' room. One Mojito later, I decide to go to the bar for a refill. It didn't look like the bouncer was going to be letting us up any time soon. The bouncer was standing between the door to the bathroom and the mob of people waiting for the terrace. The door to the stairs was shut behind him. As I walk out from behind the bouncer, the doors to the stairwell swing open and then close. Another bouncer was checking on the main floor. The guy guarding the door grabs me as I walk past him, turns me around and barks "you, back upstairs!" I oblige. Apparently, he must have thought that I came down from the terrace because his back was to me and the stairwell the whole time. Sucker! After all this waiting, I prance up the stairs to the terrace. When I get there, another security guy tells me how lucky I am to have made it because I'm the last person they let up before shutting the doors for the day!

Once again, the terrace is not nearly as packed as I'd imagined it to be. LOL! I guess now that I was there, it was good that they didn't let so many people in. I run into the GN posse and eventually find out that the reason why my comp didn't work was because Space arbitrarily cut the Yoshi list by about 200 people. Like they didn't make enough money that night! Oh well, time to get my party on! I'm here. My friends are here. It's the terrace. Life is good.

The DJs are better than good. They're fuckin' good! Behrouz, Sharam, Howells, Fanciulli and Tong are taking turns at the decks. While their sets are not technically impressive and some tracks that have been beaten to death by now are being tossed at us, they're all spinning such fun, funky stuff that it's hard not to have a blast. They're all having a blast themselves, getting plastered as they spin and dancing around. We're dancing around even harder. It's getting hot. The awesome cryo cannon that fills the entire terrace with cool fog is going of no more than about once an hour. It's not like Space made so little money this WMC that they couldn't afford to use it any more than that! As the morning turns into the afternoon, it's fucking hot. I'm gonna spare you the Biloxi Blues reference here. Let's just say it's getting very hot and that cannon is the only thing between me and heat stroke if I don't take breaks sitting in the shade every now and then.

As the day goes on, people are dropping like flies and going home. Some of the true rockstars in our crew claim that they're only leaving because they have a plane to catch. Plane, shmane. Whatever. I decide that I'm gonna close it out, having never done so at the last big party held at the conference each year. Supposedly, Space is keeping the terrace going until 8pm! I feel shockingly good, considering all that I'd been putting my body through. Thank god for energy drinks and modern chemistry! Fortunately, some other rockstars in my gang are still around and willing to tough it out with me till the end.

By now, it's the middle of the afternoon. Sharam, Howells and Fanciulli are left spinning. They're tanked and having more fun than I've ever seen them publicly have. There's a whole bunch of diehards still dancing. Danny leaps out of the elevated booth into the arms of the crowd below. He dances around and thanks people for coming. Out of nowhere, boxes of pizza show up and get passed around to the crowd. I grab a slice. Probably a good idea to eat something. After Howells gets back on the decks, Sharam starts throwing handfulls of rose petals at the crowd. How nice! When he eventually runs out, he starts tossing paper plates instead. Good thing there wasn't any silverware in the booth.

Sharam finally gets back to what he does best, drinking…kidding. I meant spinning…after hitting the bottle again for a bit though. The guy is on fire. It takes quite a bit of talent and experience to keep a small crowd dancing late into the afternoon in the Miami heat. It's not as easy as it sounds. Play a set with too many peaks and valleys, and people will notice just how tired or broke they are during the lulls. Play a set that's all peaks and people will tire or pass out from heat exhaustion. Sharam and the rest of the guys had been masterfully keeping the energy level at about 8 out of 10 the whole afternoon. Just funky enough to keep people going but not too funky for their own good.

By about 4pm, most of the crowd is gone. It's just me, Rohan and AliW joining a small throng of other cyborgs. Sharam actually goes into about an hour of Jungle/DnB. Usually, this would send me limping towards the door. But this stuff, it was fucking awesome…not that I'm up dancing to it or anything. I just sit there bobbing my head, trying not to snap my own neck in the process. No shit! I know the Jungle/DnB scene is huge in DC. Yet I never would have suspected Sharam from Deep Dish of even owning more than two or three records in that genre. Go figure!

By 5pm, the terrace is essentially empty. Howells and Sharam took off. I think I recall one of them muttering something about missing their plane while I was in the booth. Fanciulli is left on the decks. Ali can't take it anymore and decides to wait for Rohan and me downstairs, outside the club. Conisdering that I can count all the people left on my hands, it's apparent that the party is not going till 8pm. Rohan and I are the only two people left dancing on the floor. There's no fucking way we're gonna let the DJ win and outlast us! Apparently, Nick doubted our resolve. He wasn't about to stop spinning as long as someone was still dancing. The Space staff apparently couldn't go home as long as the DJ was still spinning. Payback's a bitch! The security guys were getting visibly mad that they are still stuck there. Some of them started yelling at us to go home already. Fuck that! We kept dancing. Nick was applauding us by now and laughing at the bouncers. Some of the jerkoffs actually started throwing pennies and candy at us, trying to get us to stop. We kept going. Finally, at about a quarter after 5, Nick gave up. He took a bow to us and faded out the last record. We win.

The bouncers unceremoniously usher us out. I figured that the least they could do is something for us to reward us for being the last people dancing at Space at the WMC closing party. Maybe they should have put our names on a plaque somewhere. The least they could do is give us a t-shirt or something for it. Fuck, the day before, we all got air fresheners. I guess we'd go home with nothing but a sense of accomplishment. We met up with Ali, who was still waiting outside and barely hanging on by now and took a cab back to the hotel. Mission accomplished.

 

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