I must confess that while I enjoy going out, I’m mostly relegated to the whirlwind of events that are on the weekends. However, once I heard about this Century Room Series event at the Everleigh, presented by Heineken and featuring Damian Lazarus, I decided that I’d brave the inevitable workday exhaustion and head out on a Wednesday night. As I walked up King street, a sandwich board on the corner declaimed that the party to which I was headed was the best on the street. To be fair, on a Wednesday, that bar wasn’t set very high. From nearly a block away I could feel the bass from the venue rattling nearby windows. Initially, I thought it was a passing car with an obnoxiously loud stereo, but the sound seemed to be stationary. As I drew nearer, I realized that the sound was coming from the venue and a small crowd had formed in front, eagerly awaiting entrance.
After some initial confusion at the door regarding cover and the guestlist, I managed to gain entrance. After a brief search and a short flight of stairs, I entered the club proper. At a glance it was clear the layout was designed with bottle service in mind. Looking around, I saw plenty of low horseshoe-shaped couches for people to gather around, lots of aisle space, and various single couches with coffee tables. Much of the decor was graffiti featuring Mr. Monopoly and several instances of the infinity mirror effect. I also noticed the sound was good toward the front, but tended to vibrate and reverberate obnoxiously closer to the rear of the venue, mimicking the rattling effect I’d noticed from outside of the club.
There seemed to be more of a social aspect to this event than I’m used to seeing. There were people playing Pool or Foosball, and many just chatting on couches. An immense number of people seemed to have turned out for the event – more than I might’ve expected for a Wednesday – but I understand that Damian Lazarus will frequently draw a large crowd, regardless of the day of the week, and this proved no exception. The crowd was interesting to observe as well: quite the eclectic mix of clothing styles abounded. Club-goers sporting fur coats, motorcycle jackets, fingerless gloves, leather pants and black lipstick mingled alongside those dressed up in scarves, backless dresses, bowties, suspenders, or even three piece suits.
I missed most of the first set, but did enjoy what I heard. Chase & Christensen did a superb job getting the crowd warmed up. I confess myself a neophyte to the genre at best, and bearing that in mind, I was ill-equipped to identify many tracks but with some assistance (from google) I was able to ID one track I quite liked.
During the next set, Iris Santo and Sam Haze made a respectable team, skillfully trading off the decks back and forth. They brought the energy higher and higher, drove the crowd deeper and deeper into their revelry, and by 12:30AM it had become increasingly difficult to navigate the dancefloor. People were packed shoulder to shoulder, which is a shame because the back-to-back set was exceedingly high energy and ideal for dancing. I was so engrossed in the sound that I nearly missed Damian Lazarus as he took over at approximately 12:45AM.
While there was no noticeable shift in the sound, Lazarus’ entrance onto the decks was met with increased enthusiasm from the crowd. The social aspect I mentioned earlier took a backseat and almost everybody present became more concerned with the music and absorbed in dancing to it. It was at this point that I ceased trying to fight the crowd or actively write about the music and instead, I just let it wash over me. I was caught up in the sound, thoroughly enjoying myself and bouncing along with the crowd for over an hour before I succumbed to exhaustion and began to drag myself toward the door. Even as I tapped out, the party continued on in full effect with no signs of stopping.
Even though I didn’t quite know what to expect at this weeknight event, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. If the Century Room Series is often of this nature, I may have to make it a point to book more Thursday mornings off of work to attend them.
Scott Copeland – EDM TOR