Dirtybird NYE 2013
With Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, J. Phlip, Kill Frenzy, and Mark Starr
Grand Central, Miami
Monday, December 31, 2012
Better Than: Any party that doesn't let you load up on free drinks for the first four hours.
San Francisco's Dirtybird Records isn't the fanciest label around. But it is damn near one of the best.
Same goes for this crew's NYE 2013 celebration at Grand Central, which may not have come with the heftiest price tag in town, but certainly delivered the funkiest, sexiest, and just plain dirtiest end-of-year sets in the MIA.
The night kicked off and the drinks started flowing. Doors opened at 9 p.m. with a special opening set from the label's latest signee, Florida's own Mark Starr. The new kid set it off smooth and sexy as heads slowly filed in, decked out in their shiny New Year's dresses, adorned with complimentary party hats and noise makers.
By 10 p.m., Starr made room for Kill Frenzy on the decks, another relatively new name in the game whose breakout hit "Booty Clap" set the scene on fire in 2012. His wild hair bounced around in the dim lighting as he kept the vibe going into the night, playing all manner of party jams to get the incoming revelers in the mood, from the XX to Sugarhill Gang.
The dance floor became more and more crowded as the last minutes of 2012 flew past. Friends greeted friends, camera phones flashe,d and (hopefully) everyone stayed tipping their bartenders as the free drinks kept flowing till midnight.
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The Dirtybird logo flashed in all kinds of colors on the giant screen behind the decks. And the energy climbed as the clock clicked toward midnight hour. Still, the atmosphere was laidback and groovy. Even when label stars Justin Martin and Claude VonStroke showed up to the party, milling about on the dance floor and watching the set like they were anyone else, people didn't go crazy following them around and posing for pictures.
Kill Frenzy played a marathon set up till the end of 2012. A countdown came to life on the giant screen behind him, and people from the patio and bathrooms came running to the floor to be a part of the champagne toast.
"Thank you for coming out here for the New Year," VonStroke said into the microphone. He introduced himself and his team, then kicked off the official countdown of the last ten seconds as everyone else joined in the excitement.
"Happy New Year!" everyone yelled as smoke and confetti shot out from the stage. Friends embraced and people downed their champagne as couples kissed all around the room. At that moment, J.Phlip started 2013 off right with French Fries' "Champagne," kicking the party up a notch and getting hyphy with some breaks and hip-hop beats.
The party was officially a jump off, with a dance floor full of cool kids getting down and working it low, putting their hands in the air and unafraid to look silly in decorative New Year's crowns. Phlip worked in the dirty beats while keeping it classy, in classic Dirtybird fashion, until finishing with "Bakupgrl" and making room for Justin Martin at about 1:30 in the motherfuckin' morning.
Smoke exploded into the air as soon as Martin touched the tables. People yelled and woo-ed as the ghetto beats bumped through the speakers. On stage, the label crew looked like they were having the time of their lives, laughing together, goofing around, sharing comped bottles with people in the crowd.
"I know if you're here for Dirtybird New Year's, you love bass. And I love bass," he said to the crowd who stayed dancing harder than ever. He dropped lots of awesome crew tracks, including a sick remix of "Booty Clap" that set the room on fire. He dropped his own massive "Ghettos and Gardens," even surprising the crowd with a sick mid-track drum 'n' bass breakdown.
Then Claude VonStroke took over at the surprisingly late hour of 3 a.m., but even at an hour most people would normally start to think of heading home, the Grand Central crowd was twisting and roaring along with the headliner. Again, smoke filled the room and confetti flew through the air. The big man looked mighty happy to be there in that moment, and he let the crowd have it real good.
In one of the most fun moments of the night, Claude called Mark Starr onto the stage before dropping his big track "Rood Boy." And then Martin and VonStroke broke the kid in, putting him on their shoulders and carrying him to the front of the stage as the track played out.
Oh, and Mr. Claude VonStroke is definitely a late-night motherfucker, perfectly suited to end a night of celebrations. He kept the ghetto tech-y rhythms going almost right up to the rising of the sun. You couldn't stop the man. Well, they did eventually kick him off around 5:30 a.m., but can you believe there were still quite a number of heads begging for more?
Dirty-ass bangers and ghetto drums into the wee hours of the morning light? Not a bad fucking way to kick off 2013. The next 12 months are gonna be big. We can feel it.
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Personal Bias: Justin Martin is the best finder of lost shoes on the planet. Saved my left foot. Big ups to you, homie.
The Crowd: House heads with a more mature taste in EDM and a real taste for the underground. Oh, and free drinks.
Best Drop: Fuck the ball at midnight. Martin's drum and bass breakdown for "Ghettos and Gardens" set shit off. That's a must-have banger for 2013, no doubt.