We got flyers from the plus8 tent that evening, and were warned to get there around 11:00, which we did. We waited in the cold and rain for 3 hours. Tons of people gave up and left.
OH MY FUCKING GOD
RICHIE BLEW MY MIND [and broke my body]
Turns out the venue is a place called City Club, a goth club that's been there 20 years. It's inside the Ramada Hotel. The planet-e all access party was in the same building that night.
Venue: A large black room. literally. So dark you could only see outlines of people around you. Smoke machines so thick at times I could barely breathe. Very packed. Know those rectangular ceiling tiles? It was 20 long by 16 wide. Not a huge space.
Lighting: one rotating orange light at the front of the room, one large strobe hanging from the ceiling in the centre, two multicolored moving lights in the back. It was perfect. I was there for the music.
Crowd: Impressive. They were there for the right reasons. Everybody was groovin, smiling, friendly.
Cost: Worth the $20 at the door. Water was $3, free to fill in the bathroom, but they wanted $6 for a can of red bull--yeah right. didn't check out alcohol prices.
Security: Mean guy at the front door
Strict about ID (EVERYONE was IDd, the party was 18+, 21+ to drink). Reasonable inside though. No security outfits: one guy was wearing a spiked collar, korn shirt and leather pants. When he wasn't kicking people out, he was dancing as hard as everyone. One girl was in a vinyl skirt and top, shaved head. She was nice and asked me if I was ok when I was ready to pass out from being so tired.
The sound: awesome. Crisp sharp highs, bass so pounding my throat was shaking. I was impressed.
The set: OH MY GOD. Richie played from midnight to 8:30 in the morning. I was physically exhausted [literally]. I danced until I couldn't move, sat down, then he'd drop a track and I'd be all "I need to dance right now" and do some more damage to my body.
It was worth the 3 hour wait in the cold and rain.
It was worth the $20 usd.
It was worth the sketchy walk when we didn't know what we were doing.
What else can I say? Detroit kids know how to party.
I got in. We waited for 90 minutes in the rain. The crowd was crammed together so tightly outside that you couldn't even move your feet. Security was strict and thorough. The sound system was overwhelming. So much sound in such a small place, I never heard and felt anything like it before. Within minutes I felt my ears explode, my teeth vibrating and my entire body absorbing the bass. I felt almost sick, actually, to be honest I was quite sick for a bit that night from the bass. That system tore the shit out of me. Richie played the craziest, hardest, most unbelievable set that I ever heard. If you missed out, you don't know JAK.
Now I don't feel like a freak telling people I had the greatest trip of my life, stone cold sober! Like a really good hit of acid, which by the way I have never had. And yes, I was throwing up from the bass.
Our friends helped out with the set up so there was no line for us and we got to hang out with Richie's adolescent girlfirend (she probably only looked like she was 14)
I already talked about Richie's set on the Techno side, but one thing: You cannot judge him as a dj, based on Montreal, Toronto or even Amsterdam performaces. You have to hear him in his element to really understand why he is Detroit's God.
The fact that the party was in support for Carl Craig and that whole Pop Media firing Carl bullshit set the right mood. This night and the "natives" showed me what parties should be like.
Richi's set was layers and layers of contradictions, funky almost happy samples, interwined with evil "I want to have you, I want to kill you" lines. That whole decks and effects fiasco, where he tried to have a sense of humour, was a big mistake. He is at his best with the dark, minimal, experimental, and insanly intense Detoit sound. This is one strange world the dude is in though, i don't think I could handle anything like that too often.