We used to go to raves to break out of the ordinary, to lose ourselves in a dark room, rubbing against sweaty bodies. To meet strangers from strange lands, each character more colorful and absurd than the last.
We're not sure if it's just that we've been doing it for ten years or that y'all have actually gotten less creative, but raves are now the most predictable environments on Planet Earth. Rave culture has gone from costumes to uniforms, and everyone comes equipped with the same goodie bag.
In short, the modern American rave is the McDonald's of counterculture; no matter where you are, it's the same fucking shit. How many of these clichés will you see at your next rave?
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Earlier this week, our roommate got sick, and we gave her some Vick's to help open her congested nasal passages. She'd basically forgotten there was an actual use for the shit, because it seems the whole Vick's brand has been taken over by rolly-pollies. When we were covering Basslights this weekend, some baby-faced frat boy was all "Do you want some Vick's?" He was noticeably freaked out when we said, "No, thanks." Then he successfully shared some with the bro behind us, saying, direct quote, "This stuff is so good, I just feel like I have to share it with everyone." Adorable.
The Adult Baby
Look, you're at least 17, right? You've got a pacifier in your mouth, a backpack intended for use by five to seven year olds, and a cartoon on your two-sizes-too-small t-shirt. Maybe if you're underage this can be acceptable. But if you're over 18, you need to re-evaluate your look. Either stop or put on one of those human leashes and give control to your friend. You know what? We like that idea. Do that.
You can't go to a rave without someone handing you a pair of trippy glasses. It's not enough that the production team spent something like tens of thousands of dollars on sophisticated lighting equipment. Turn that shit up to 11! Some people even sell these things in real plastic frames. It's a whole business. Raves make more jobs than Obama.
The Tutu Chick
Grrrrrrrrrrrl. If someone jumped off a bridge, would you follow them in a tutu? You are the least original person on the planet. What is with the string across your tummy? Are you a belly dancer? Nah, you can't dance! You just try to twerk, but you're white and intoxicated, so it's silly. Do you even plié? The rule of thumb: If you stand next to your friends and we can't tell you apart, that's a problem. We believe in your ability to think up other ways to be naked. This shit is tired. Put it to sleep.
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Unless you're Lady Casa and there is some spiritual reason you're wearing a bangin' homemade Indian headdress, you're just being an offensive culture-appropriating dickhead. If you're a girl, you're either an Indian or a kitty cat. What about aliens? We want to see more alien antenna at raves. Or like, Dr. Seuss hats. Bring that shit back. Tinfoil hats. Fish bowls. Anything but kitties and Indians. We're just looking for variety.
Tank Bro is the Ken Doll to Tutu Chick's Barbie. It's like, when did our grungy rave scene become the fucking high-school nightmare that we'd hoped to avoid by growing up? You are literally all the same person. You've got some brightly colored block-letter tank on, it probably says "Weed & Molly & Pussy & My Parent's Money," showing off your well-toned arms, and you've got a girl or another bro on your shoulders. Are we Bill Murray? Is this Groundhog Day? Dude, bro, stahhhp.
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We were 16 when we went to our first Ultra. And so yeah, our first roll. We get it. There's basically no better time to be a rave junkie than when you've got disposable income and nothing but homework standing in your way. These kids are the bread and butter of the build-and-drop formula. They're the only ones still excited to see some of these acts, because the rest of us have seen them more times than we can count. Without the wide-eyed first-timers, EDM's basically got nothing.
Ten years ago, there used to be this glowsticking technique called liquid. It meant you held the sticks in your hands and whooshed them around the air, or more likely a person's face, in a smooth and fluid motion. It was pretty impressive, but now it's all but extinct. Liquid ravers have been replaced by the oversharing finger glovers. I know you're stoked on your new toy and everything, but please stop putting them in our face without asking. Thx.
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Gnaw Face McGee
This is our favorite person at the party. You know, that one guy or girl who is so far up Molly's ass, they've left the party. What are they staring at? Some other planet or plane of existence entirely, though no one knows for sure. But damn! They are going to town on that binkie or necklace or whatever the fuck they have in their mouth to keep from putting a hole in their cheek. Best. Face. Ever.
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.