Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Event Review: Mass at 1015

And now, a guest review from SFScene pal and special field correspondant Kitty:

Let's just get one thing out of the way. How long has 1015 had the monopoly on big club parties in SF? Quite a few years now. So why is it that 1015 acts like they just opened last week?

Why am I there (even though I do now and always have hated this particular club)? Because it's New Year's day and DJ Phil B is having Mass for the first time in years. Back at the cusp of the new millennium (when we still had some hope for the future), Mass was the Sunday evening t-dance that provided the perfect progressive house ending to a weekend of big gay parties. Big music. Big lights. Big fun.

This party at this place has special meaning for me. It's the scene of one of my few transcendent experiences in the gay party scene. Those moments of joy and connection when the people/place/music burn themselves into your brain. You know... that Zen singularity that we all spend our time, money and brain cells trying (and often failing) to achieve.

I've grown up enough to know that I can't get that experience back again. But I'll definitely pay $20 for the chance at getting groovy on New Year's Day. And I was willing to bet that there were plenty of other guys thinking the same thing.

Ticket in hand, I arrived at 1015 at 6:30 pm. That's when the complete ineptitude of the club's door personnel smacked me in the face. There were two lines to get in, but the majority of patrons were forced to wait in a line that snaked around three sides of the building. Why? The second line was only for those possessing a shiny, Wonka-like golden VIP ticket.

Needless to say, those of us who had purchased regular tickets before the party were pissed about standing in the wet cold for up to 20 minutes or more. My only source of amusement during that wait was watching other partygoers arrive and scramble dejectedly for a place in the ever-increasing line. Sometimes schadenfreude is my only joy.

Poor planning created the misery of a line, but douche-baggery was salt-in-the-wound. The lone security dude checking IDs insisted on asking each guest how their evening was going. He would not be satisfied by a tepid "fine" or "good" from cold, trembling patrons in tight t-shirts. In fact, if such bland vocabulary was used, he pulled the yearning patron out of line until they could come up with something more creative. I pitied those frozen souls with poor verbal education.

When my time came, I held back the scathing reply that had been boiling inside of me for the past 10 minutes. It had accumulated variously heated particles of speech over that time until becoming a mass of molten anger. And I really did want to say it to him. Oh how I yearned for it. But my voice of reason firmly insisted this would not be the way to gain quick entry to the club. So I piped out a half-hearted "fan-fucking-tastic" and was on my way.

Next step in the process is checking my coat. In other words, waiting in another pointlessly long line. But I did have the opportunity to observe a scene that made my night. A loud, braying queen standing behind me called out to his fag-hag that "there are children!" Sure enough, a shockingly respectable family was coming out of the downstairs bar.

After he made a spectacle of himself trashing the harmless straights, the family picked their way up the crowded staircase led by a darkly handsome guy, his arms protectively draped around two young girls. As they passed the shade-throwing sister, a voice called from the crowd, "Gus! I didn't know you had kids!?"

The man with the girls (now revealed to be Gus of Guspresents, the promoter of this party) shouted back, "Ha! These are my nieces. Today was my birthday!"

As a loud mouthed fag who regularly puts his foot in it, I felt really bad for that big-mouthed queen in line behind me. (But maybe not that badly.)

The party itself got off to a fun, energetic, and friendly start. The Gus's nieces danced and got onstage with the flaggers. Every gay man that they passed was smitten with them.

After a few drinks I was in a good mood and dancing on the edges of a packed floor. Even at that distance, the heat of the shirtless, sweating crowd made my skin flush and tingle. Phil B began his 6-hour set with some standard gay house shakers. Good stuff, but not particularly inspiring. Particularly the full-on diva house cover of Pink's "Better Get This Party Started."

But with each song, Phil B brought up the tempo. And as the beats picked up, the songs got harder. Somewhere about halfway through the evening, he's spinning progressive house so powerful it's bordering on Trance. Just what I like.

After another hour or so of moving on the floor, around the floor and through the floor I just couldn't move any more. The club was now completely filled with boys and girls, men and women having a great time. I love that feeling of euphoria that comes from almost everyone I pass. Bit I am also very tired of tripping over and stepping on people.

Billed as a "Reunion" dance, strangely I did not see anyone I had known from those days of going to Mass. But I did have a good time without having it torpedoed by the neurotic hang-ups that haunted my back then. Maybe not "fan-fucking-tastic," but still a good time.

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