Monday, January 5, 2009

Event Review: Subterra NYE 2009 at SomArts

As I wrote a couple weeks ago in the New Year's Eve Guide, there wasn't a lot in the way of parties that felt really compelling to me this New Year's Eve. After some hemming and hawing, the boyfriend and I, at rather the last minute, decided to attend Subterra at SomArts with a couple of our friends. It wasn't the coolest party I'd heard of, nor the biggest, but was the one where we were most likely to run into other random friends, which is what we were looking for on this occasion.

We arrived around 11 and spent the time leading up to midnight mostly standing around outside in the smoking area. We checked out the three rooms of music, but nothing really grabbed us - psytrance is psytrance, the "techno" room was sounding pretty trancey itself, and the middle room, which was dubstep at the time, seemed to be the place where the kids were going to get their freak on. Eventually we did get some dancing on in the techno room, but that was well after midnight, at the point where I began to wonder what we had paid $40 for.

It was a well-attended party, with a vibe that was overall very ravey. This has its good and bad points; on the one side, ravey is fun, on the other, it's pretty adolescent in its energy. We saw a lot of kids who were obviously feeling their rolls, and at one point we watched as a half-naked couple was getting it on in the chill tent. As two Guido guys walked by the couple the boy, who was on the bottom, did a devil's horn salute to them, and they gave him a thumb's up back. Though I think it's great that there are opportunities for the 18+ set to go out and party, I find myself looking for a different kind of energy these days, one that is maybe a bit more sophisticated. This was the thing with much of the music we heard as well - very well suited for folks looking for a driving, freaky, go-for-broke beat, not so well suited for deep grooving. Though we were able to find a less aggro vibe in the techno room, the sound system there also seemed that it had been tuned for size over subtlety, with the bass swamping out everything in the mid-range and making normally crisp minimal techno sound soft and spongey.

We split around 3.30, though the party had gotten its second wind. After a lot of standing around, we were all ready for some sitting and tripping out on our own beats. It was a decent way to bring in the New Year, and we enjoyed running into random friends and acquaintances while we were there, but for next year I think we may need to check out a party that's a bit more suited for grown-ups.

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