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Steve Gerrard, Neku, Panagiotis, Gaafar @ Groovanauts Loft Rooftop Party
by translucent: 08-16-2003

For a rooftop party, this one was perilously close to being rained out. The forecast called for intermittent, severe thunderstorms. Anticipating the worst, we set everything up indoors. Once the disco ball was up and spinning, we hit the Coronas. Pete (Panagiotis) stopped by before his gig at Voodoo and took the decks, starting the party right. He was dropping some sick progressive beats that set the mood for what was to come. Before long, people started streaming in. Dan (Sashweed / DJ Neku) took over for Pete and continued without dropping the proverbial baton. After Dan spinning for a bit, the sky looked like it was going to cooperate with us after all. We decided to dismantle everything and move the party to the roof. Fortunately, by then we had enough people there to move everything with relative ease. Everyone grabbed something and dragged it upstairs.

Once everything was set up, Dan took the decks again. The weather was beautiful, if a bit hazy. More people were streaming in. As soon as everyone had just the right amount of booze in them, the craziness ensued. I went downstairs to grab another bottle only to find Sara (Sara2214) and Jessica (GirlieGirl) playing what amounted to a cross between drunken twister and bowling. The girls were doing back arches over one another while George (e_bomb) was rolling a round watermelon under them from across the room. I’m not sure what exactly the rules were, but everyone in the room seemed to be having a hell of a time. After laughing my ass off, I grabbed a few bottles and headed back upstairs.

After spinning for a while, Dan left the decks and went downstairs for a much needed break. Before long, it was Amateur Hour with a whole bunch of us taking a turn on the decks. Even I hopped on for the first time in my life while no one was looking. I actually beatmatched two records flawlessly (beginner’s luck...I was reading Dan’s How To DJ book earlier and got inspired). Sara and a number of others tried their hand at spinning after me. By the time Dan got back, one of the needles was toast! (So sorry, Dan…I owe you some beers). Fortunately, Dan had some spare cartridges and got things going again.

Steve Gerrard showed up with some reinforcements and relieved Dan, who had been spinning a marathon set thus far. For those of you who don’t know of Steve, the Chester native is one of the best up and coming DJ’s/Producers hailing from the UK, or anywhere for that matter. He has won a number of awards and shared the decks with some of the world’s foremost DJ’s at major clubs all around the world. Steve also has a number of live sets out there broadcast on Groovetech, Kiss FM and Pete Tong’s Essential Mix on Radio 1. Steve’s production works with Russell Pearce under the aliases Filta and Wrecked Angle have been used by the likes of John Digweed, Sasha, Nick Warren, Anthony Pappa, Steve Lawler, Hybrid, James Zabiela and Danny Howells.

Steve got things in gear with some smooth progressive beats that suit the ambiance of the open air party to a T. The rooftop terrace featured spectacular panoramic views that stretched from the Upper West Side to the Statue of Liberty on one side and Jersey on the other. By the time Steve really got going, the clouds eased up enough to let the moon poke through, joined by a bright planet Mars. Steve looked like he was having as big a blast as the rest of us, grinning and putting his hands in the air. Everyone was either bobbing their heads like they were at a Metallica concert or bopping around on the deck.

Gaaf (Raven) took over briefly to give Steve a chance to catch a breather. Steve got back on and continued what turned out to be about a five hour set with some darker progressive beats. By the time the sunrise started reflecting off of the Manhattan skyline, Steve transitioned to some funky breaks. It was a perfect way to greet the morning. As the sky became light enough, the clouds started to roll back in. The weather was through cooperating with us and it was apparent that the rain was imminent. In what was probably the most amazing coordination between DJ and Mother Nature since Café Del Mar, the last record finished just as the first drops began to fall. We all grabbed pieces of equipment and headed back downstairs.

We thanked Steve, who is one of the chillest, most down to earth DJ’s out there and said our goodbyes to one another. By that point, it was about 7:30am and many of us have been partying for about twelve hours. I was barely coherent at that point and crashed on the couch. What a great night it had been!

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