I was stuck inside, away from sideways blowing rain and tree-strewn roads, switching my phone on and off to save the battery. I checked every few hours for texts from friends, voicemail from bosses and panicked “Our basement is flooding!!” calls from the Mom.
Everyone was out of reach. The power was smashed out at my apartment all day and I was at a friend’s place staring at her television. We were waiting for a scheduled speech by Massachusetts Gov. Patrick to tell us whether we should go to work the next morning.
Naturally, this was the best time to use my dying phone to write a post. I was without a computer all weekend and I was growing too eager to tell you about a bright moment for electronic music in New England. Just two nights before the superstorm, downtown Boston was colorful, sweaty and just a little more naked.
Major Lazer and Diplo were in town to play back to back shows at two different venues in one night. The after party at Brighton Music Hall would be a less formal, $10 DJ set by Major Lazer lead producer Diplo. I didn’t know any of that yet. Early on Friday evening, I didn’t even know about the afterparty.
It was just before 8 p.m. and my friends were already waiting for me at the House of Blues. I was 15 minutes away, at my apartment, killing last weekend’s leftover whiskey and judging my roommate’s Halloween costume for a party he was about to drive across the state to attend. He hopped in and out of his room:
“How’s this shirt?!”
“Here!! Take this sword, too!” We threw together the best rainbow colored, psychopath ninja costume of the century. I had been lounging a bit too hard, feeling woozy and well primed, but I still wasn’t ready for the night to click into high gear when my roommate came crashing out of the bathroom with a determined look on his face.
“I gotta get to my party. I can drive you to your show.”
After some speedy chauffeur service, I stepped out of the car and quickly… had no idea where I was. Two years in Boston still hadn’t made me any better at navigating downtown. After a few minutes meandering up and down main roads and jumping in front of cars, I found the House of Blues. Event staff were managing the line and I bolted to the closest guy with a ticket scanner.
“Have you been drinking tonight?” I heard.
“Yes.” I quickly admitted.
“No–are you going to be drinking tonight?”
I laughed while he checked my ID and he put a special wristband on me.
“See? You already told on yourself.”
I was swiftly guided through the front door, around corners and past more event staff. I blinked my eyes a few times; I had already been funneled to the second floor of the venue. Only fifty people were up there but the railing view was already totally crowded.
A young club smasher named Brenmar was opening. I had heard him around the net but I didn’t recognize him at the time. He was slaying, but I couldn’t get a spot on the railing to see him perform. He looked like an ant from that far and the second floor crowd were frozen like statues. Everyone knows the second floor is reserved for grandmas and bloggers and I wasn’t trying to resemble either one.
Due to Major Lazer‘s surge in popularity this year, floor tickets were sold out two weeks before the event. My friends assured me it was easy to sneak down from the mezzanine to the floor, but I was late.
I had to figure out my escape from the second floor all by myself. The stairs were the main highway for showgoers and looked like a death trap. I spotted a shadowy elevator in the corner. It was passively guarded by a ticket scanning henchman just a few feet away at the second floor entrance. I eyed him–he eyed me back. I retreated around the corner to the bathroom to come up with a plan and check my hat-hair.
I approached the handicap/staff elevator with my phone out, doing my best impression of someone glued to their iPhone and definitely not a guy who’s about to lean up against the elevator “Down” button, press it with my butt and walk away with my phone against my ear like I was about to make a call. I thought I was pretty smooth.
From across the hall, I waited for my second ride of the night to arrive. Finally, the elevator doors screeched open and a big EVENT STAFF chest walked out. He was on his phone looking distracted, just like me. I floated into the elevator and descended to meet my friends.
I scanned the swarm for my rave buddies, their glowing mobile phone beacons held high in the air as I slinked toward the stage. We greeted each other with big grins but the smiles didn’t last. We winced unbearably through a middle act, complaining loudly how much he resembled the typical rave DJ from a 90s movie. But it had been a long time since the festivals of the summer and we were just glad to be yelling at each other over loud music again.
While we weren’t looking, Major Lazer suddenly dropped a nuke.See bottom of post for photos of the next 90 minutes.
I filmed, I roared, I jumped really high and landed on peoples’ toes (I probably shouldn’t wear my boots next time.) By the end, my squad and I felt like the sweatiest crew at the event. After exiting the House of Blues, we took a cab to the low lit afterparty set in Allston and scraped up the last of our energy while Diplo (Major Lazer) and his dancers rumbled Boston concrete for the second time in one night.
Ladies from the crowd mobbed the stage–again–because that’s what you do at a Major Lazer show. Whether you’re there for work, for play or both, you better be moshing as hard as everyone else. And if you don’t take your shirt off when Major Lazer tell you to, you might find the person behind you ripping it off your back for you. Whatever happens, you never stop mobbing.
Never settle for the second floor.