Elysium went all the way off last night, and if you weren’t one of the 125 people in attendance, you’d better start refreshing Facebook now for when the next event’s tickets go on sale.
I hit the party late in a velvet blazer, bolo tie, and long-nosed mask. After saying what’s up to organizer Sunny, I donned my mask and walked on in.
I fumbled through the curtain and tripped onto some other dude in a mask. After a quick scan of the upper level, which was set up for a band performance and live painting by Bobby Marinez, I followed my ears downstairs to a room full of gnarly electronic sounds. My initial trek through that long, narrow basement lined by people in masks felt like the opening of Goodfellas, but with a rabbit woman, a guy in a hockey mask, and some characters from Eyes Wide Shut or something. Definitely the kind of strange vibe discerning party people in Rochester have been clamoring for.
The basement at Grand Rounds turned out to be perfect for a sweaty rap show, too. It’s one thing to check out hip-hop in an arena or some larger venue, but that’s an artform that came from basements, and the smaller the venue, the more intense the show tends to be. DJ Gavin Boss seemed aware of that fact and threw down all kinds of futuristic sounds between performers. The crowd ate it up – he seemed as surprised as I was to see everyone turning up so hard. Seriously – I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the amount of stoke going on in that basement.
MEDcity got the everyone whipped into a trappy frenzy with “Coolin” and Lil Crazed capped off the night in proper fashion.
At some point, I decided to take a break from all the energy and, at the top of the stairs, was greeted by Hoku Aki’s reggae set in full effect, a whole floor of people skanking to a very different beat than the aggressive thumps downstairs.
That’s when it sunk in. Elysium is the party Rochester both needs and deserves. We can handle it, we can support it, and we can turn up even louder at the next installment.