Waking up to New Year’s Eve in New York City was exciting to say the least. The city seemed to be alive with energy, all its streets filled with hustle and bustle; half of the east-west streets of Manhattan were shut down, with cops absolutely crawling the entire city. As the day progressed, anticipation for the night ahead grew and grew—after all, this was guaranteed to be a night of revelry at one of New York City’s most exclusive and sought after end-the-year-with-a-bang events.

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We arrived at the venue, which remained undisclosed up until NYE, around 10 PM.  The warehouse was located in an industrial area in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The scene was very low key from the outside but upon entering the industrial complex, I was engulfed by forty foot ceilings, lasers, and giant disco balls. The industrial venue combined with the ritziness of NYC culture formed a poppy underground rave vibe.

The crowd was very eclectic: ages ranging from 20-30+ donning outfits that ranged from full fledged rave regalia to Wall Street suits, and of course lots of energy.  

12419307_903437266443260_6286711357166136158_oBob Moses brought a unique sound to the warehouse. The addition of an electric guitar to the set was refreshing and pleasantly unexpected. At that point of the night the crowd was loose, energetic, and ready for the big acts. Unfortunately, however, the sound less than optimal—we noticed the highs were often grainy and the bass was loud, but flat and overpowering.

Nonetheless, the crowd kept the energy moving—the whole house seemed loose, energetic, and ready for the big acts.  As soon as Justice assumed their position at the DJ booth, the energy and anticipation of the crowd skyrocketed to new heights. Justice began their set with a pair of cigarettes, just minutes before the ball drop—their first song hit extremely hard, and any Joe-Shmo in the crowd could tell that these DJ’s are serious professionals, albeit extreme nicotine addicts. The set started with Justice’s classic brand of upbeat, French house—they practically pioneered this sound, paving the way for similar acts like Kavinsky and Daft Punk. The crowd’s energy rose and rose as Justice exhibited more and more of their classic track—by the third track, we realized that Justice are absolute experts at reading the crowd – adjusting tempo and hype and the the night progressed. Their transitions were absolutely flawless—each build was more epic and drawn out than the last, and the drops and ensuing basslines kept the crowd grooving all night. The sound quality seemed to improve as well during their set—looking around, bobbing up and down to some classic four on the floor house while the DJ’s chain smoke, all we could see were smiling faces. After playing all their classics, Justice diversified their style by throwing down with some classics for the older crowd; notably, Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” excited the crowd with its 90’s nostalgia. After the short interlude, Justice changed the vibes and returned to their brand of House, including various bassier and grimier tracks—however the audience did not receive these as well.. As the set seemed to get progressively deeper and deeper, Justice gave the crowd a one hundred eighty degree flip, transitioning the vibes to metal-influenced house—think the angsty, bastard child of EDM and 90’s grunge. However, the crowd was less responsive to these experimental sounds—Justice 12484707_903437363109917_3528478586001379968_orecovered by spinning Ginuwine’s classic “Pony”, another nostalgia inducer for the aged crowd. After this quick breather, Justice turned up the BPM, with a blend of techno and house, presumably to prepare the crowd for Gesaffelstein. After a slow disco jam for all the couples out there, Justice began to conclude their set with Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock n’ Roll”, a sure crowd pleaser. Finally, after a long two hours of diverse energy, the French DJ’s redux the classic “We Are Your Friends”—the crowd continued to vibe and dance the night away as they depart—the night just began.

Gesaffelstein was surely one of the heavy-hitters of the night. The crowd’s energy roared as the French Producer took stage. Opening up with Pursuit, Gesaffelstein literally rocked the house to the tune of a 7.0 earthquake. Every subsequent track seemed to get the crowd going more and more. The crowd, however, was apparently not feeling the heavy techno vibe as transitions became progressively shakier. Again the grainy sound quality dampened the set. Nonetheless Gesaffelstein rallied up, lit another cig, and got the crowd moving again – this time to the bass deafening “Control Movement”. Throughout the set, Gesaffelstein seemed very nonchalant and in his element, despite performing for a crowd that seemed to resist the heavy techno sound. The constant in all of Gesaffelstein’s track’s is the bass: continuous, hard hitting, and quick. Ear crunching baseline: deeeeep techno. Every single drop, despite them being very similar, gets the crowd popping.

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After party:

Unnamed-mainstream–generic–tiesto-esque–house producer took the stage after Gesaffelstein. He kept the crowds lifeline going – kinda. Thankfully at around 4 A.M. Chrome Sparks assumed position and revived the crowd. Chrome Sparks was an interesting addition to the warehouse scene – his sound is not one particularly underground. However, he rocked the house with his opening track “Moon Raker.” The set was fueled by grandeur buildups that seem like an ever expanding landscape of sound. Out of his control, the lighting was definitely lacking. Though there was a nice laser visual effect throughout the set. Chrome Sparks really is a just a guy with a passion for the music. Unlike many other producers, Chrome Sparks doesn’t get caught up in image or wearing the latest fashion labels  – the guy had his car keys on his jeans for fuck sake. He definitely gave off the most low-key and chill vibes of the night – perfect for the wee hours of the morning.

Around 10 hours into our warehouse revelrie, ODESZA, an Indie-electronica duo, took the main stage to close out the night. Similarly to Chrome Sparks, ODESZA has pioneered an individualized unique sound in the electronic music community—it grows from the futuristic sounds and influences of trap, house, and even rock n’ roll. At the helm of the warehouse, ODESZA exerted utmost control over the crowd—they frequently switched up their vocal samples, and backlined their tracks with deeper sounds—mainly deep house pianos and bassline—to suit their music for a Brooklyn club still partying through the early hours of the morning. The crowd went wild for the groups’ feel-good classics such as “Say My Name” and a remix of Porter Robinson’s “Divinity”—the pairs’ evident grip on the crowd’s spirit was amplified by their renowned lighting and visual effects; we especially enjoyed the bizarre laser imaging and enchanting, clubby disco-ball refractions. Near the end of the set, ODESZA dropped new tracks, namely a beautifully sounding future-bass/trap song that had the crowd nearly at its knees—you decide whether it was the sparkly synths or pure exhaustion kicking in at that point. After multiple encores, ODESZA threw in the towel; and the crowds slowly dispersed. All were content with the mass festivities they had just partaken in; they set off in their Ubers, their taxis, their subways, and their buses. By the next morning, 2 West 52nd Street in Brooklyn NY was just another empty warehouse.

 

Contributing Writer: Jack Gleiberman

Photography Credit: Teddy Khan