Forget your jacket and pants. The subfreezing temperatures of February couldn’t gain an inch of ground on the energy on the floor Friday night. All the aspects of an epic night came together on the floor of the Highline Ballroom: from killer visual displays & lights, to the energy pulsing from the mixing up onstage, to the insane crowd.
We arrived early on, just before midnight, to make sure we caught the evolution of the night. The spacious dance floor had some eager party goers already moving to those minimal beats. When we got upstairs for the coat check, there was a bit of a line. In the ten minutes spent waiting there, the place started to pack out. As we made our way back down to get our very own piece of the floor, we bounced past the coat check line which had nearly quadrupled in length. And on the floor: a serious party had sprouted.
Garrett B was up on stage and I couldn’t help but dance as I gravitated toward the stage. I was immediately greeted by a stranger on the floor who introduced my to all his friends and just like that, my mood for the night was set.
At around 11:45 PM, Justin Marin popped out of the backstage area over in the front right corner of the venue. This corner was claimed by Holy Ship!! alumni. Holy Shippers came out in force, some travelling from as far as Miami, Florida to be part of this madness. The #shiplove was abundant and Justin Martin wanted a piece of it, diving into our mess of ragers for a photo op, some hugs, and kind words. He later summed it up in this tweet:
By the beginning of Justin Marin’s set, the entire place was packed. And it only got better from there. Every drop into a new beat, the whole place screamed in an uproar, and I was no exception. When Justin dropped through the Dusky Remix of his track “Don’t Go”, the energy was simply ineffable.
While I moved and grooved to Justin, I took a moment to let the audio fade a bit so I could absorb some of my surroundings. The lights at Highline are pretty awesome. All along the length of the walls to the sides of the dance floor were full color range mood lights which spent the night bouncing with the beat. The ceiling was covered with lighting equipment and projectors. Most of it seemed to be tied into the output from the mixers, making them reactive to the tunes and really awesome. The environment in there was perfect: even their top notch sound system was pushing powerful high quality beats that made everyone completely lose their shit as Justin finished wound his set down with “Ghettos & Gardens – Bachelors Of Science Drum & Bass Remix”. This was despite it never feeling so loud that I was uncomfortable which I have experienced at many similarly sized clubs. A+ to the guys behind the soundboard.
The type of crowd at this event was also spot on. Verboten parties attract some of the best NYC nightlife crowds. People were there for the aura of good people going all out to great music. It was a nice refreshing reminder that the late night scene hasn’t been lost to the bros.
tINI followed up Justin Martin with some tech-house awesomeness to bring the final hours, three of them to be exact, to a close. Around 4 AM, the crowd spaced out a bit as people filtered out. tINI’s tech beats gave the night that perfect bounce to top off an evening of going hard.
As we strolled out and were hit with the reality that it was around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the only option was collapsing into the back of a cab and being carted off home.