Friday night was my first time at Brooklyn's new nightclub Verboten. Before getting into the event review, I would like to give a heavy shout out to the Verboten staff. The coat check, bartenders, and doormen alike were tremendously polite; not once did I get a "I really don't want to be here" vibe (like at a lot of other venues). There was no yelling to show your IDs, or half-rude stamping of our wrists -- everyone at Verboten was truly gracious. The venue itself is smaller than I had expected, with only two main rooms, which were decently sized but could be packed to max capacity very easily. The walls were decorated with tastefully promiscuous art, and the sound system was crisp and leveled. It gave into the allure of heavy hitting melodies without the overwhelming, ear-ringing bass. The crowd was pleasantly eclectic and easy-going, any patrons who accidentally bumped into you promptly apologized before moving on (the way it should be).
Now onto the performances...
Arriving around midnight, I had just missed the closing of Alex Arnout. Maya Jane Coles had just taken the stage to commence her massive four-hour set. I will admit that much of her set lacked many of her singles that included vocals, keeping her set so minimal may have left some of her fans wanting more. Regardless, the half-japanese fun-sized beauty dropped tunes that had me dancing all night long-- like House of Hate by Cultural Artifact, and her groovy bounce-inducing edit of Ksky's Madness. The London tech/house goddess expertly mixed on 4 CDJs, spinning actively in hyper-speed as she sorted through her extensive binder of CDs. Maya Jane Coles proved to be animated and meticulous, her hands leaving the decks only twice during her 4 hour set to fetch a drink. She closed with Dissolute by Paride Saraceni (off of Maya's Fabric 75), the melodies paired with Verboten's galactic lighting made for a soothing, and immensely satisfying end to a set.
At approximately 3:10AM, George Fitzgerald, in all his dashingly handsome glory, took the stage. After giving a friendly hug to Miss Coles, he took his place in front of the decks; the club went pitch black for a couple of "holy god, whats about to happen next?" seconds. Suddenly, ten extraterrestrial beams of light shot down into the middle of the crowd, the audience was mesmerized as the distinct intonation of Inside the Deku Tree by Leon Vynehall oscillated through the room. Fitzgerald drew out the psycho-esque viola solo in unison with the slowly blinking streams of illumination; he played Vynehall's song it its entirety, an insanely epic way to open a set. Although leaving before Fitzgerald could close, the two hours which I was present for were delectably engaging - highlights include him dropping his ever popular track "I Can Tell (By The Way You Move)" and "Child", which helped him break into the dance music scene. Transitioning from one zesty track to the next, a stand-out moment was when Fitzgerald played out Hot Since 82's edit of "Bigger Than Prince" by Green Velvet.
Overall my night at Verboten was more than enjoyable. The enticing musical performances in conjunction with such a feel-good setting was the perfect recipe for a memorable time. Verboten made the right move by installing a permanent venue in the heart of Williamsburg; I can't wait until I once again have the pleasure of celebrating great music and great friends with the Verboten crew!