Labor Day Weekend was one, long, aggressive run of parties, concerts, and get-togethers. But of course, Verboten saved the best for last with an enormous lineup for the third installment of their StageONE series. Closing off our last summer hurrah was the legendary DJ Koze, DJ Tennis, and Maceo Plex.
Verboten, being one of the original party-starters, picked the perfect weekend and location for such an event. The skies were high and bright, food and drink delicious and reasonably priced, and of course production was on point. Besides one minor glitch in the speakers during DJ Tennis' set - we give Brooklyn's underground curator an A+.
We arrived just in time to see DJ Koze set off the crowd - "a lie is sweet in the beginning, and bitter at the end. and truth is bitter in the beginning, and sweet in the end..." Kozalla's classic "XTC" clamored through the StageONE speakers as the sun gently beat down on the crowd. The techno oddity spun a gloriously cadenced set - playing the audience with touches of light-hearted tribal and deeply mechanical sounds. From the salsa worthy classic Rhythm by Joe Claussell and Jerome Sydenham to the soul lifting Nana by Acid Pauli. From start to finish, Koze offered an intelligently mapped out and consistently soul-lifting hour set.
DJ Tennis arrived in full force with, another pleasantly mellow yet impressively well progressed set. As assumed, the producer dropped a number of Life and Death tracks including Recondite's Serak, which almost blew out Verboten's speakers - as well as Sei A's massively profound track, Hyper Venom. Although Tennis's performance had a soothing consistency, there were moments when all you could do was wince at the mere depth of it all (in the best way possible). The most significant juncture came when he decided to close his set with Bob Marley's Could You Be Loved; you could practically feel the entire crowd smiling.
As darkness hailed upon 50 Kent Ave, it only seemed fitting that techno demigod Maceo Plex take the stage. With a blinding spotlight lit behind the Crosstown Rebels commander, the crowd swarmed in a frenzy as he opened with Bjarki's I Wanna Go Bang. Despite dancing along the vastly open Brooklyn waterfront, the all-star DJ had us feeling like we were locked away in a dark, drippy, underground warehouse. Perhaps Koze and Tennis were holding back for the sake of progression, but Maceo pulled out all the stops and then some. I love when techno artists steer into darker territories before mellowing out - setting the audience down gently (especially when there's a packed to capacity after-party down the block). Dropping tracks like his Dark Dub edit of Mirror Me, the BNR famed Chappell by Barnt, and the satanically robotic 002 by Decka - Maceo Plex placed the crowd in a whirlwind of emotion. His performance tapered off into a more relaxing feel before a massive build up that was cut like a guillotine - edging concert goers to make an impromptu stop at Verboten, salivating for more.
StageONE continues to be one of the best event series' of the summer - with great weather, generous staff, and a breathtaking level of production, we simply can't wait for the next one! If you are just like us, and can't get enough of Verboten's StageONE, check out the last installment on September 19 with Carl Craig and Mathew Dear as Audion! (Tickets Here).
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