Hundreds of ravers flocked to the Financial Discrict’s South Street Seaport on Sunday June 3rd in anticipation of an outdoor rave chaperoned by the Australian electro-dubstep duo Knife Party. Throughout the day, the distant sound of pounding techno beats and faint smell of sweat meddled with the boardwalk’s usually calm and touristic atmosphere. Along with four other artists, Knife Party celebrated the release of their latest E.P (appropriately titled Rage Valley), with an eclectic dubstep set that sent masses of fluo kids into rapture.
Ticket holders may have been skeptical when a last-minute change of location was announced last Tuesday. The show was originally supposed to take place at the Brooklyn Terminal Project, a brand new venue located on the waterfront across Governor’s Island, but organizers had to operate a last minute switch. No one however seemed too disappointed upon entering the Beekman Beach Club, a lovely slice of boardwalk located directly on the East River.
Seemingly unaffected by the occasional rain, ravers and ragers were already waiting in line at 4pm, the show’s official kick-off time. Those ‘early’ birds were able to enjoy pounding electro sets by Djs Sazon Booya, Nick Catchdubs and Alex English, while playing fussball or chilling on the sand. An impressive amount of colorful sunglasses, skimpy bikinis and fruity cocktails achieved to make the event feel like a true Californian beach party.
As the sun began to set, the night took a whole new turn and madness descended upon the crowd. Knife Party’s Aussies hit the decks around 9pm, and fans immediately left sand and sun behind, flocking towards the main tent to see the duo perform. Highly anticipated Knife Party did not disappoint, delivering a two hour set best described as a mix of heavy electro, grinding drum’n'bass and very, very angry dubstep. Meanwhile, hundreds of kids seemed to let go of all their inhibitions and entered into a raging party trance, the likes of which South Street Seaport has probably never seen.
While Knife Party’s Rob Swire and Gareth MacGrillan were busy raining down hellfire on masses of shell-shocked ravers, logistical problems due to the last minute change in location started to shine through. The main entrance quickly turned into a monstrous traffic jam, as only a narrow corridor multitasked as pathway to the show, the bar and the restroom. For over two hours, getting a beer involved risking one’s life fighting off dozens of thirsty, fist-pumping ravers, and reaching the bathroom became a trial comparable to Ulysses’ Odyssey.
Knife Party, who were mainly here to promote their latest 4 tracks E.P Rage Valley, delivered as promised. For the span of one afternoon, Manhattan’s South Street Seaport truly turned into a Rage Valley of sort, an epic summer rave in the heart of the city. The set ended at 11pm, leaving Brooklyn Dj Hellfire Machina the honor to finish off the remaining die-hard dubstep addicts. And finish them off he did, spinning a brutal and chaotic set that seemed to have been designed for one thing and one thing only: to put us all out of our misery.
Despite a few minor hiccups due to the change in venue, Sunday’s Knife Party did achieve its primary objective, to make us dance until we drop. Ravers went home that night with barely enough energy to sustain the smile on their faces, but ready to go again next weekend. New York will dance to the sound of dubstep this summer. You have been warned.
Article by Laurent Berstecher
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