Verboten StageOne Waterfront Series July 4th Reviewed
There are shows and then there are experiences, moments in time where stars align for an unbelievably trip to another world. Such was the experience for anyone and everyone celebrating the 4th of July at Verboten’s inaugural StageOne Waterfront Series show, Never Say Never. New York is a notoriously difficult place to put on an outdoor event (as anyone who thought they’d be at Time Square for Jay-Z yesterday afternoon could tell you) and the folks over at Verboten made the nearly impossible happen. The space was held right on the skirt of the East River and the crowd, though packed, still had enough to room to dance, twirl, spin, and flip the day away to the beats of a sensational line up. The summer’s heat was offset thanks to the breezy comfort of the water and the sound system blasted at full force (so much so that they actually crashed during Davide Squillace’s set!). After the momentary technical setback, Davide made it clear the party was far from over and got the crowd bursting in anticipation for the acts to come afterward.
After his set, the UK’s deep house authority Maya Jane Coles hit the deck. Fresh off of the release of her debut album, "Comfort," last Monday, the crowd went bonkers thanks to the superstar’s sleek kicks and deep grooves. Dropping various tracks from the debut LP, including on the dark and Karin Park-assisted single “Everything." The crowd was insatiably hungry for the Japanese-American producer’s set, chanting her name relentlessly when the blaring music allowed them to be heard and sporting tons of custom Comfort stickers. After an incredible two hours in the booth, Maya made way for techno prince, Guy Gerber. The Israeli DJ/producer worked up the crowd for a solid hour and forty minutes, maintaining calm and collected control over the overwhelmed partygoers the whole way through. Gerber also took advantage of pulling tracks from his own recent LP catalogues, playing tracks from his free album Who’s Stalking Who? much to fans’ pleasure.
After closing out his wonderful set, Gerber had the crowd more than ready for the headliner of the hour, the legendary Sasha. After coming popping up out of nowhere at Soho House for an impromptu rooftop set two weeks ago, Sasha came back to the Big Apple ready to take a bite out of a more-than-ready audience. The sun slowly set as the iconic DJ revved things up and subtly spun Williamsburg into submission, giving way for a breezy and cooled off atmosphere perfect for the dance-induced sweating of the crowd. The man played banger after banger, making the crowd go particularly nuts when he put on Kolsch’s killer tune “Goldfisch”. As if my electronic magic, the bombastic track was followed by the absolute best view of the city that night, as fireworks set off in Midtown for New York City’s iconic July 4th spectacle. The crowd was mesmerized by the stunning sight, turning their backs to the booth for the first time all day to soak it all in. However, things weren’t over until Sasha said they were! He kept the crowd going on their visceral high thanks to him dropping more killer gems like his unreleased remix of Bonobo’s “Eyesdown." That afternoon and evening were absolute successes, followed by an incredible after party at the Highline Ballroom for those who weren’t ready to quit dancing in celebration of America’s birthday. You won’t want to miss Verboten’s next showdown with dance legends Luciano, Carl Craig and Moodyman on July 27th!