I had my gripes with Decibel's inaugural attempt at a Bumbershoot After Party last year: the room was too brightly lit, the security too overwhelmingly omnipresent, the ticket an additional cost on top of your regular Bumbershoot pass, the awesome headliner (Four Tet) delayed until the wee hours of the AM by what seemed like an eternity of Z-Trip's hokey mash-ups. This year, though: Entry was included in your Bumbershoot ticket; the room was lit like a club, not a high school cafeteria; the security was reasonably sized--guys at each entrance and at the foot of the stage, plus a couple floaters wandering around--and, like last year, serious but low-key and friendly about doing their jobs; Miracles Club was on by a little before midnight and Tiger and Woods on an hour later, the whole thing over by 2AM. Pretty much everything that seemed within Decibel's power to control was done right.
Miracles Club and crowd, terrible placeholder photo by me.
Which isn't to say, everything. The crowd was still, even with the free admission, smaller than the Exhibition Hall's space could've wanted to feel full--bummer that After Dark happened following Jane's Addiction last night and not Monday's headliner Skrillex, whose crowd might have been more eager to keep raving. There was no re-entry allowed (although, since the only entry requirement was having a wristband, you might've gotten around that one if you weren't too memorable looking). There were still goonish party bros bumping into you and then being aggro dicks about it. And it was 21+ and over at 2AM, although you can argue that those are both good things (with apologies to the kids): after a long day of Bumbershoot, it's nice to take your drink onto the dance floor and out of the beer pen for once, and as for closing time, unlike, say, Decibel Festival, Bumbershoot just doesn't generate the critical mass of all-night partiers required to make rolling til 4AM or 6AM a good idea--it's cool dads, not hardcore ravers--so, a 2AM closing time is just fine. (Which is not to say that there shouldn't be the REAL--as in scummy and druggy--after-party somewhere else.) So, not quite yet the year Bumbershoot learns how to rave, but a fine party anyway.
Oh yeah, but wasn't there also some music or something? About that...
Miracles Club were fantastic, as usual, their trippy live vocal house accentuated by the tightly-wound moves of their tall, lanky dancer, dressed in parachute pants, a long white tunic, and a taqiyah who vogued and whirled like a dervish and hopped and twitched, half ballroom diva half David Byrne. Tiger and Woods maintained a more modest stage presence--just two dudes behind their laptops and mixer (side-note: nobody cares if you're a "mysterious" or "anonymous" duo if you're just two regular dudes, guys)--but they kept the music and crowd going strong with their deep house and disco edits, culminating in the inescapable 2010 cut "Gin Nation."
With so much done right this time, it's just a shame that tonight's After Dark line-up is in the hand's of Trinity Nightclub instead of Decibel, but who knows, maybe Scotty Boy and DJ Mia will pack the revelers in in even greater numbers. We'll see.