Rave Reviews

Mad Decent Block Party Brooklyn Day 1

The Review for Mad Decent Block Party Brooklyn Day 1 is in and it was an event for the books:

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Security: By the time I got there at 7, there was no line and we were ushered into the venue fairly quickly. We were patted down and had to take off our shoes and socks. They looked within our purses, but they had managed to miss the hand sanitizer and lip gloss I had brought along. Meanwhile, I saw that they had confiscated multiple lipsticks and packages of gum.

Weather: There was an inclement weather warning where it rained for a good half an hour around 5pm, during which the event was at a standstill. Luckily, I was so hungover from the night before that I was still driving to Brooklyn so by the time I got there when Tory Lanez was performing, the sun was out and the stadium seats were dry. It was the perfect timing.

Venue: MCU park was the perfect venue for a block party. There were ample awnings where the food and beer was sold, perfect for when it hailed that day. The bathrooms never had a line because there were so many stalls. Plenty of stadium seating allowed concert goers to eat and drink, relax and enjoy the music from a distance, able to see the crowd and have a nice view of the stage from the comfort of a seat.

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Food/Drink: There were plenty of food vendors and beer carts. The block party was sponsored by Bud Light, with a beer being a standard $8.50 along with other mixed drinks such as margaritas. Nathan’s Hot Dogs sold their famous hot dogs as well as their chicken tenders and fries. There were also risotto balls and ice pops. It was a great sight seeing someone double fisting two beers, taking a sip and spitting out the foam as he walked. Lovely! Around the stage, people walked around selling beers, water, and ice pops. HUGE downfall though, to my surprise they cut off the beer at 9pm. I was extremely disappointed that we as concertgoers were not warned that alcohol service stopped early.

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Culture: Diplo is infamous for his Mad Decent label throwing block parties all over the US, as well as boat parties, and the newly announced beach party. He was the first DJ/business man to ban the attire and paraphernalia that people imagine about when they think about raves and festivals. Kandi (the color bracelets that ravers exchange with each other), LED lights/gloves, hoops, banners/signs, totems, masks, pacifiers, etc., were among the items prohibited. The emphasis of his parties are truly on the talent and the music, with nothing else to distract from the main point. That’s how it should be.

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Artists: Dillon Francis and Diplo ended the night. Dillon Francis’s set was amazing, with comedic backdrops like febreeze. Diplo’s set started with a ratchet drop and it was drop after drop after drop, until suddenly it mellowed out before he ended with a bang. It was truly a night for the books. The energy in the crowd was uplifting with people shuffling and enjoying themselves on the dance floor as well as near the food stands and in the stadium seats.

 

Armin @ BKWHS Review

Warehouse vibes!

A post shared by Armin van Buuren (@arminvanbuuren) on

  1. When I heard it was a secret Brooklyn warehouse party, I knew it was going to be good Armin. Two and a half hours of Armin, not just 45 minutes of Armin at a festival. 45 minutes really limits a DJ and they’ll end up playing a bunch of basic songs to appeal to the crowd. I respect him because as his music evolved, similarly to Tiesto, he delved further away from trance especially with his new albums “Intense” and “Embrace.” However, because he had a longer set he was able to incorporate both elements.
  2. There was an outside and inside stage. Of course it rained that day. It’s always like that in NY. It was so appealing to be crowded and trampled inside the venue (Brooklyn Hangar), only to walk outside to stand in the wet mud which was also super crowded. Alternatively, I could escape that to walk into the urine puddle of a portapotty. They said the event would go on rain or shine, but because of the massive rainstorms the outside stage was cancelled.
  3. $6 for a bottle of water. This is a great time for me to invest in a camelbak. Do I want to pay $6 for a drink that hydrates me or $10 for a beer that dehydrates me?  Recommendation to hosts: provide free filtered water at events. People will still pay for bottled water and if someone dies from dehydration, it’s ultimately their fault, but it still makes you look bad. At least there were food concessions. I was genuinely surprised as I’ve never been to a night event where food was being sold.
  4. Paint dropped from the ceiling every time the beat dropped, whether it was into my drink or onto our sweaty bodies, I didn’t know it was paint, I just wondered why there were chunks falling me.
  5. The music was amazing. The lineup was Ruben de Ronde, Khohma, MarLo, and of course the king of trance Armin van Buuren. There was no lack of Armin Jesus throughout the night and the energy in the crowd was high. Going alone as a short girl, I wasn’t able to join the crowd, so I watched from the sidelines to avoid becoming the next headline. I didn’t get to see the lasers or the carbon dioxide cannons or experience the full sensory overload of the show, but I had a great view of Armin’s side and I was able to fangirl him with a spacious spot at the barrier. He mostly looked ahead, but occasionally he acknowledged those on his sides and when I waved to him, he pointed at me – and that is when my heart melted. I know to him that I’m just a random fan girl, but to me he is everything. I personally enjoyed MarLo as well. A lot of people left after Armin’s set, because they wanted to rest before FSOE with Aly & Fila on Governer’s Island the next morning, but not me. Because the crowd became less like sardines and more breathable, I was able to get a spot in the crowd with enough room to dance. MarLo was phenomenal. Not only was the music perfect and synced with the vibes of the warehouse, but the lasers were spectacular. They were able to use the lasers with the carbon dioxide cannons to create a beautiful cloudy sky.
  6. Armin allowed multiple people to join him on stage, including a man who had cerebral palsy. It was a touching moment.
  7. Lastly, RPM Presents, despite you holding so many great events and bringing in so much great talent, it is disgusting how you oversold tickets. I met a guy there who said they barred everyone behind him from getting in. It could have easily been me if I had hit a lot of traffic or if I had a work shift that ended later. These are paying people who were denied admission to a show. Some people make long drives, take off days of work, buy airplane tickets, and go lengths to go to these events. Despite not allowing a number of people to enter the venue, the venue was still crowded regardless.

RPM Presents, get your shit together. I love Armin, but I don’t love Armin so much that I’ll pay for a ticket that only MIGHT get me admission to see him.

 

Maxximize NYC

A few days ago on February 13, my sister and I attended Maxximize NYC, a huge rave held annually in NYC by the duo Blasterjaxx. Last year, the party was held at Governer’s Island. This year, the rave that featured DJs such as Lestat, Jewelz and Sparks, Zaxx, MOTi, Blasterjaxx, and Firebeatz was held in the acclaimed Hammerstein Ballroom. I was super excited and told all my coworkers about my President Day weekend’s plans, even mispronouncing the venue’s name wrong a bajillion times before being corrected. Clearly, I am not a New Yorker or have Jewish ancestries. My sister, who had attended raves with me in the past but was not as big a fan as me, was skeptical about attending a 7 hour rave. She was concerned about being able to be on her feet that long, especially since it basically meant pulling an all-nighter. However, I had created her a Spotify playlist featuring the artists performing at this event, so she was psyched. Being a “non-raver”, she enjoyed music with lyrics. She had not enjoyed the previous rave I had brought her to where we saw Paul van Dyk, because there weren’t enough “words.” Thus, based on my friends and my boyfriend’s opinions, none of whom are fans of electronic dance music, I believe that people who enjoy pop, hip hop, and rap can easily be converted to ravers by being exposed to progressive house and electro house, genres that have more vocals.

Aside from introducing non-ravers to the world of raving and plur, the rave was phenomenal. Even my sister was able to stay on her feet and dance. Even without knowing the majority of the songs, anyone can enjoy the build ups and the epic drops. The environment is better as well. Guys politely ask girls if they would like to dance or trade kandi, rather than grinding against them. A pickup line that my sister and I have experienced at both Maxximize NYC and PvD at Terminal 5 was “How many times have you seen this artist?” Clearly, most of the people attending these raves are not attending to pick up chicks, but to enjoy the talent, which is why I prefer going to a rave rather than attending a nightclub where a DJ is performing.

The venue is phenomenal. We had plenty of space to dance because the venue was large and spacious. Me being very short, I had no problems with elbows in my face, or people stomping on my feet. The stage was phenomenal as well. The acoustics were perfect, with just the right blend of bass and sound. Being in the back, the middle, or even at the front (to the delight of my sister and I while Firebeatz was performing) did not matter in terms of the sound. My ears were not ringing after the rave. There were carbon dioxide cannons, lights, lasers, etc. to make each performance absolutely perfect. Each DJ  had a different style that contrasted enough so that we would be refreshed with a different sound for each DJ. The PLUR was evident, with the majority of people donning kandi, no pushing, respect for all around them, and the love of the music and the culture involved.

I am definitely going to attend next year. Blasterjaxx advertised this event as the hottest party in NYC during President’s Day weekend and they lived up to their word. Even non-ravers can appreciate the talent and culture that makes up Maxximize. At the price of only $50 to see 5 amazing DJs, this is truly the party of the year.