Red Bull Music Academy Presents: The DFA Records 12th Anniversary Event
Grand Prospect Hall
May 25, 2013
Back during an unusually chilly Memorial Day Weekend, I was at the gorgeous Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn for Red Bull Music Academy’s presentation/hosting of DFA Records’s 12 Anniversary Event. I had some minor complaints about the event. trying to get alcohol was a wildly inefficient, time-wasting experience in which you waited on a line to buy a drink ticket for your drink of choice and that line generally took forever and a day. Then you got on another line to get a drink at the bar. Waiting at the bar was even more frustrating because it was a clusterfuck of people desperate to drink, waiting on bartenders who were painfully slow. I’ve never seen bartenders make simple mixed drinks so slowly in my entire life. And getting a beer was a hilarious experience as I watched a bartender walk across the room to get a bottle of Samuel Adams because someone placed the bin with the Sam Adams half away across the room. What? Didn’t they know that if they were more efficient, they’d make a lot more money off people drinking?
The cool thing in theory was with such a gigantic space, it allowed concertgoers to roam about from room to room to catch live music, or an interesting DJ set. But with everything happening at the same time, you had to decide whether you were going to stay for an entire set or wander around catching bits and pieces of things. A group of intrepid folks wandered around but at some point, the majority of the crowd flocked to the Grand Ballroom to catch the more known, more familiar acts.
Some intrepid souls wandered around the place – I certainly did up until a point – but it was difficult to get around, thanks to building’s narrow staircases. And with people trying to find their friends, the staircases were snarled with people as they were texting, chatting and god knows what else. It got so bad that they eventually had a security guard directing traffic – usually it a security guard telling a concertgoer that no texting was allowed; and that one side of staircase was for going up, the other for going down.
Still those complaints are minor in comparison to the rest of the event. My personal highlights included Prinzhorn Dance School, a German band whose sound owed a great debt to the angular, math-rock styled funk of Gang of Four with a similar punk rock energy; YACHT whose sound seemed influenced by the irony and art rock/shock rock of DEVO, as well as the Talking Heads but with a slicker sound; Shit Robot and James Murphy whose DJ sets were some of the best live DJ sets I’ve heard in quite some time. Simply put, it was a sweaty dance party and people came out to shake their asses all night. With that in mind, check out some photos below.
For these photos and the rest of the photos from this night, check out the Flickr set here: