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August 19, 2010

Patchen's first warehouse party

Midnight Sunner (and former roommate) Patchen is breaking the law, breaking the law with his first illegal warehouse party. Here is his account of his recent exploits:

The text came at an absurdly early 8:31 A.M.

"Any interest in attending an illegal warehouse party in bmore tonight?"

The answer was, of course, totally.

I've mostly missed out on Baltimore's illegal/underground scene — no early-era Wham City shows, no freestyle battles, no dance parties that didn’t have the TaxLo seal of approval. I felt overdue for some illegit awesome ...

The texter—a dj friend of mine from DC we'll henceforth refer to as "DJ" — said there was a small cover and a Roman theme. He said his set would be early in the evening. He'd follow up with the address.

That evening found my girlfriend and I knocking on a door of a certain color in the alley of certain street. It was opened by a man in a toga. Immediately I regretted not having come in costume.

We flashed our IDs, paid the cover, got our wristbands and went upstairs. When I spotted the centurion, I really regretted not having come in costume.

But I'm skipping ahead. Turned out, this wasn't the warehouse I'd imagined — something like Sonar with a whole lot of extension cords in a neighborhood I'd only seen on "The Wire." Instead it was more like a typical loft/DIY artspace party, only with particle ceilings that suggested some kind of office. It was hot and humid and the only air came from a fan in front of an open door to a fire escape.

Whoever was throwing the event — I never got a clear answer on that from DJ; "some old ravers" he'd said — had done a pretty phenomenal job decorating. Almost every wall was covered with ivy, interrupted by the cartoony busts of emperors and columns drawn on paper plastered to the walls. There was a room with a bar made of tables; a main room for dancing with a dj booth, full lightshow, and projections; a kind of hallway/lounge; and a back room with another dj booth
and more of a seraglio vibe.

Much of the crowd was in costume — I saw togas, Mediterranean-looking dresses, big plumed helmets and full gladiator gear. The rest might as well have been in costume — ravers, girls with stuffed-animal backpacks, a couple in black who wouldn't have been out of place in a kink dungeon and a surprising number of girls with Orioles or Red Sox hats. The crowd was relatively young — I saw some Xed hands — and reasonably diverse — mostly white with a scattering of Indian, African-American and Asian.

The bartenders were pleasant and clearly this wasn’t a profit-making scheme — the keg was all-you-could-drink once you'd bought a $5 cup, and Gatorade and water were only a buck or two as well.

As for the music ... well, what I don't know about electronica could fill a hard drive. But both rooms had talented djs, the lights (controlled by a touch-screen display!) were impressive, and everybody took their turn on the dance floor. We bounced back and forth between the rooms, then settled in a bit once DJ got deeper into his set of two-step. We danced a little, then hugged the wall as ravers with glow sticks and light-up hula-hoops did their phosphorescent thing.

I'd love to say I stayed until the Roman bacchanalia became a Roman-style orgy ... but I only made it till midnight (I had my own djing to do in the morning). The list on the wall had djs lined up for several more hours and more people were arriving by the minute as we left, so I can only assume the rest of the night went well. After a warning that there were "No ins & outs!" — we assured them we were out — we were twice told to drive safe by toga-wearing doorfolk. I thanked them, wishing I was in costume.


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music
        

Comments

Sounds like a good time, I remeber about 15+ years ago going to Paradox every other Thursday night, but I am pretty sure that was legal.

Do you find it odd that for an illegal party that they were still carding people and not serving underage people? I guess they have a conscious.

Maybe Dan McIntosh could learn a thing or two from this scene. Just sayin'...

Way to fight the Man! I wish I could have seen "DJ" puttin' it down... What was he dressed in?

@jason z—I'm assuming it was a way of keeping everyone's noses clean—no one needs the hassle of a Providing Alcohol to a Minor charge. And like I said, they were very careful about no ins & outs, and that we were driving home safe. So I think it was a mix of "We're all here to look out for each other" and "Let's not let someone screw this for the rest of us."

@Mgoode—DJ didn't dress—though he was sporting a wicked (I'm not from Boston, so I mean that literally) new goatee. He texted later and said the place had turned into a sauna from all the people, so he was probably glad not to be in costume by the end of the night.

@myself—I sounded rough the next morning. I'm getting old.

And most recently of all, a "Roman Toga Party" was held from which we have received more than two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here.

win.

JTK is full of it. Don't lie please. That is so far from the truth in regards to this party. There were 6 individuals working the floor to make sure no nonsense like that was going on. Get your facts straight you troll. You must be thinking of some College Frat House party. And who is "We" JTK? Coalition of Liars? Big middle finger to you A-hole.

@Me -- Put that middle finger down, nice and easy, and give those keys a second to cool down. JTK was joking, buddy. It was a joke.

ok, everyone's happy. yes. good. great. glad people had fun =)

Humor detectors, people. Also, Google is your friend.

But you can't hold a illegal warehouse party responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole illegal warehouse party system? And if the whole illegal warehouse party system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our party systems in general? I put it to you, Me- isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

How Patchen Got His PLUR Back

good form JTK.

Me, instead of watching "Party Monster" for the millionth time, perhaps you should pop in "Animal House" to get JTK's references.

ha - ok JTK, my apologies I did not get that you were just joking. :P

relax me, JTK is pre-law. It's was not gonna be an orgy! It's was a toga party.

I know I know, I didn't get the joke, ME is actually the a-hole. Excuse my lack of movie reference knowledge people.

But the party was incredible, regardless.

I thought I was pre-med.

Hmmm... You "arrived with a girlfriend"? I thought you were married or did I miss an episode?

The post is by Patchen, not Sam.

Just because it was an underground party, does not necessarily mean that it was illegal. The people throwing the party obviously had concern for the law if they were carding and not letting people drive home drunk. There are people out there that can have a great time and still be responsible, and that is awesome! Great job guys!

@ JTK -

"But you can't hold a illegal warehouse party responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole illegal warehouse party system? And if the whole illegal warehouse party system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our party systems in general? I put it to you, Me- isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen! "

best post ever on any forum. well played, well played.

oh [sniggity] my cover is blown

Quick, Sam's girlfriend, kiss me!

*cough*
@ rotterdame - glad someone is looking out for me! :)

JTK, did you mean "profane and disgusting" or "profoundly disgusting?' Just curious.

been to that place before. they differently dont do it for the money. they do it for the art. and they are VERY serious about what does on in there. they will not skip a beat to toss your ass out if you are stupid or you are doing drugs. minors drinking to are watched out for too. there are no charges like he said above. there is only donations taken. its always a fun time

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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