This New Year’s Eve we traveled to Brooklyn, New York for an adventure in Dadaland — Dada Life’s own man made compound and playground without rules. The entrance was visually remniscent of a Disney movie, as we bore witness to a maze of lights before reaching the venue itself. The 64,000 square foot warehouse had been transformed by promotional team, Area Event, to host 24 hours of New Years festivities for dance music enthusiasts to enjoy with every single one of their senses. Transforming the previously unoccupied venue into a menagerie of over the top production elements, unparalleled quality and a stellar talent lineup the masterminds being Area Event and the Dada Life troop turned this 2013 celebration in Brooklyn into something for the record books. This was truly an assault on all of the senses, in every sense of the word.
Brooklyn’s own Pierce Fulton set the tone with one of the final sets of 2012, warming up the crowd for Deniz Koyu. As we’ve come to see, Pierce refuses to restrain himself and does not hesitate to play around with a wide variety of genres, keeping the music fresh and and the energy high. His outing was nothing short of original, as he electrified the room playing well before midnight. Fulton got weird, and established that he will stay weird in 2013.
Before drifting into one of his own mashups or originals, Koyu entertained the crowd with Plastik Funk & Tujamo’s “Who,” a huge track that had finagled its way into many memorable sets of 2012, and one that still incites the audience. Getting down to business, Koyu then threw down his mashup of “Comet Army” before Hardwell and Dannic’s infamous mashup, “Bong into Darkness,” had fans craving even more bongbastic selections.
Koyu had already been bringing 2012 to a proper close, but continued to channel his crowd, working one of the year’s biggest tracks into his set with his own remix of Zedd’s “Spectrum.” What was once a desolate, nearly bare warehouse, had metamorphosed into a booming rave scene with diverging lazers and light production that bounced off every inch of the compound. Taking note of the crowd’s energy, I visualized what would emanate as midnight grew closer.
Behind Koyu was an enormous projection screen that began the night’s countdown with a simultaneous drop of Sebastian Ingrosso and Tommy Trash’s “Reload.” As Dirty South’s remix of “Embrace Me” followed, the crowd was roaring with excitement, exhilarated as Deniz kicked off the countdown to 2013. The moment the clock struck midnight and the aforementioned projector hit 00:00, confetti and CO2 blasted into the masses and the thousands in attendance collectively broke out into hysteria. “Happy New Year” flashed across six evenly dispersed LED light displays that sat atop pillars throughout the venue, Deniz Koyu wished New York the best in the New Year and introduced Dada Life —that’s when the party figuratively and literally went bananas.
Following the stroke of midnight, Stefan and Olle kicked off their first set of 2013. The crowd was packed with more bananas than a produce department thanks to the complimentary costumes packaged with premier tickets, and to call these suited ravers rambunctious would be an understatement. Hot on the heels of their debut album, The Rules of Dada, our fun-loving Swedish friends jumped into crowd favorites, “Rolling Stones T-Shirt,” Happy Violence,” and “Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker.” While I’ve seen Dada perform at multiple festivals and individual shows in 2012, their first of the new year was one of the better efforts from two of the best entertainers in the business.
The ways in which these DJs interact with their audience is incomparable to most similar electro acts; they brought fans on stage, gave countless champagne showers, and even hosted an impromptu pillow fight mid-set — and let’s not forget about the over-sized blowup bananas that bounced atop heads all night. The duo moved on to drop their bubbly, pop-song-esque track “So Young So High” before stirring the chaos with their beloved “Hollaback Girl” routine that had thousands repetitively chanting “This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.”
Winding down their headlining set, the Swedish tandem could not walk away from the deck without playing their remix of “Big Bad Wolf,” and of course, their thrilling original “Feed the Dada.” Just as expected, Dada Life kicked off the new year with a punch — or shall we say, a boing, clash, boom — and left the impression that in 2013, there will still be no rules but the rules of Dada.
Bassjackers took the reigns and closed the night with an electro-packed set before deep house lovers would flock the compound for Luciano and his after party. At 5am, Brooklyn became Brooklyn, and the late-nighters, eager to experience some of the finest underground house and techno, took to the warehouse to destroy the what had surprisingly survived a night in Dadaland.
Photo Credit: Jon Sorrentino