Raves are typically lauded as an underground never-neverland. Teenagers, twentysomethings, and the thirysomething set of lost boys and girls come together in the name of electronic dance music. The sounds have changed since the birth of the word 'rave,' but the core concept has remained the same – dancing to rhythms around a proverbial fire.
At its core, a rave is a primal celebration. The minutiae of what exactly goes on when so many young people get together could be argued or fraught over, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a bunch of people dancing, what’s the harm?
The Summer of Love party that happened on June 11 at the Irish Center attracted a mass of hundreds, a vibrant crowd of candy kids, shirtless bros, ravers of yore and scantily clad girls. The fashions of shredded neon-tees over hip-hugging short shorts, bikini tops, and boys who sported nothing more than tattooed pecs would be debauched anywhere else but inside the balmy makeshift club space wearing little to nothing was an act of comfort if not survival.
The rooms for Summer of Love showcased two wildly different sounds. The large main room, complete with lasers, a proper stage, a wide-open dance floor and a place to purchase overpriced water bottles had constant hardstyle and heavy dubstep. The main act, Austin Texas natives Run DMT brought more of the hard with their signature dark, dangerous throb of heavy bass, and swirls of screeching progressions. The producing duo Lemiwinks & Parson have had a pretty stellar year, having played a showcase at SXSW alongside festival successes like Deadelus, Tokimonsta and Two Fresh, and with an upcoming slot at the increasingly hyped festival Camp Bisco.
The smaller room offered a wide range of sounds from acid house to the tribal techno-dubstep fusion of Ramadanman. The Humanaut crew comprised of Paul Alexander Fleetwood, Jason Cuban, Aaron Clark, Revy and Black is Black DJ Jose Bec rocked the party ‘til the wee hours of the morning, each DJ spinning sets ripe with original taste and adventurous track choices. The standout member had to be Revy (Kevin Lind) who live mixed a techno set that rarely sat stylistically still. His sounds built upon themselves with glitch-prone bravado, a driving beat fest of originality.
The underground rave scene, at first glance, looks like a sea of adolescent insouciance, but brave the heat of the Irish Center and spend some time listening and looking around, you’ll find that this world’s got potential. The younger DJ’s who pepper the bill hone their skills while the veterans have the freedom to play to their strengths and take dance floor risks. Raves, in so many ways, are building blocks to a healthy electronic dance scene.