There was a lot of discussion, heading into Flash Off, about the authenticity of a rave organized by a club, and a major club at that. I’ve been to a number of raves in DC, organized by pros and amateurs, and there isn’t as much difference as you might think. Flash certainly has greater resources — they brought a Funktion One system to the party — but what really matters is the music. In that, I knew Flash could deliver. My question was: who would show up, the underground or the mainstream?
The first handful of us to arrive waited outside in the cold rain for the last bugs to be worked out of the sound system. That wasn’t much different from a “more underground” rave. Juana’s Frozen-ass Fan Club missed half her set.
But things took off from there. A crowd filtered in relatively quickly. Oliver Caine followed up Juana‘s hard techno opening with a smooth, energetic mix. This carried through local faves Rush Plus‘s set and into Mike Servito and Magda‘s extended back to back session.
Recently I admitted to a friend that I don’t dance as much as I used to. Drinking and hanging out has crept up on me. Well, I tipped the balance back at Flash Off and spent plenty of time on the floor. Still chatted with old friends and new, as well.
I also can’t help but compare the Funktion One system to the Grand Ancestor that I heard at Sequence in April. The F1 was crystal clean, as you’d expect. Loud without the slightest blare. I could stand up against a stack, no earplugs, without the slightest discomfort — and they were turned up until you could feel the compressed air waves coming off them. But Grand Ancestor has more power. It hits harder. It’s raw.
Getting back to the original question: who showed up? I had to tap out after 3am, which would’ve been when the rave was turning into an afterparty. I’m glad to say that even then, the atmosphere was still underground. So thumbs up on that front.
Thumbs up and a tip of the hat in general, in fact, even though I lost my umbrella, went home with muddy dancing sneakers, and got hit by a ridiculous surge rate on my Lyft.
I won’t compare Flash Off to the Sequence raves — it’s a different audience. Same goes for Badass Raves. Midnight Project is mostly in Baltimore these days so I haven’t been to one since the rave that was shut down. Tune in next week when I’ll review the other big name in DC raves: ROAM.