What did you do yesterday? Did you receive cards and flowers and chocolates and go out with someone you enjoy smooching?
But that's not quite what we did — for Valentine's Day we went to a rave. If you didn't hear about it, don't worry, because it was only online.
The three day electronic music “festival” called Rise, organized by Mixify.com, finished up yesterday; it streamed on the web and featured sets by real life DJs including Knife Party, R3HAB, Arty, Deniz Koyu, Carnage, Adrian Lux, and Danny Avila.
We went. And by “went” we mean that we stayed at home and danced around our living room in the middle of the workday.
11:00am: This festival is on Eastern time so it starts damn early out here in L.A. Too early to rave though? Never. The only controlled substance in our body right now is lots and lots of coffee, and we're ready to get the F down to Bassjackers, and we've also got a hula hoop nearby.
11:15am: Getting logged into the site requires little more than choosing a username (“cookieburrito”) and hitting enter. So much easier than wrangling all of one's festival buddies into a car and driving to whatever far flung place. This is better for environment, and it's also free, and all ages. That last bit could be annoying if we had to interact with anyone IRL — but that's not the case here!
11:20: “Getting past the bouncers,” it says on our screen. (Cute.) And then we're in!
11:30am: This is already the third day of Rise, something akin to Sunday afternoon at EDC or Coachella when everyone is wrung out from three days of sun and partying. Except that we're well-rested, freshly showered and highly caffeinated. So bring it on!
11:45am: Bassjackers sound just like their name and we're tapping our feet and nodding our head. The atmosphere in our house isn't quite right so we turn off the lights, close the curtains, light some candles and throw some Christmas lights on for lack of any other high tech lighting options. It might seem to an outsider like we're setting the scene for some Valentine's Day tryst, but really we're just raving solo on a Thursday afternoon at our home deep in the heart of valley. Jealous?
12:00pm: Inside “the club” it's lot of bobbing head avatars representing the nearly 500 people who have logged on for this set by Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation. “Where is everyone from?” we type in the chatroom, realizing that it's impossible to make casual conversation at this party without feeling like an Internet troll. Still, people respond! We're making friends! The crowd includes digital ravers from East Asia, Seattle, Fiji, Chicago, Oklahoma and more. Honestly this is a fantastic way for EDM lovers who live in remote places where no raves actually ever happen to get their festival steez on. We would have totally done this all the time during our youth in Wisconsin.
12:15pm: For lunch we have a turkey sandwich and a beer, because what the hell, it's a rave!
12:30pm: The chat room is basically a place for people to “yell” all of the things they would if we were actually all in a room doing this together. Lots of “singing” happening, along with a ton of enthusiastic (enthusiastic meaning all caps) “cheering.” LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
12:45pm: A friend calls to chat. We answer. “What in the hell,” she asks, “is all that noise?”
12:59pm: We realize we're not at all properly dressed for this type of event. And so we dig out some festival wear and end up like you see at the top of this post.
1:00pm: The set ends and everyone clears the room. But where do they go? Is there a bar in the lobby or something somewhere that we're not aware of? An alternate chat room? WHERE HAVE THE COOL KIDS GONE? They're probably sharing all the good drugs.
1:15pm: The Cataracs out of Berkeley start their set. It's good! We're totally tapping our feet right now and dancing for real every time we get up to grab a glass of water. As with any festival scenario like this, hydration is essential. Safety first.
1:25pm: Our speakers, however, are clearly not rave-grade.
1:30pm: “How old is everyone?” we type in the chatroom, trying to get a read on the crowd. The median age here is about 20. We are a predator.
2pm: Oh God. The doorbell is ringing. We're definitely not expecting anyone. Yikes. Turns out it's two high school aged girls raising money for their drama club trip to London. This is not humiliating or anything. They look at us like we're a lunatic, what with the tutu and the music. We give them some money, mostly because we feel like a total creep.
2:15pm: We have to leave to go to the bank and the post office. We ditch the tutu but wear the Spirithood out into the world and people fucking love it. Fact: Spirithoods make people really happy.
3:30pm: Okay, home. Tutu is back on, and we're ready to take this thing to the next level. We don't have any drugs so we take a shot of whiskey, eat some candy hearts and occasionally fist pump.
4:00pm: If it were a real event, like an IRL event face-to-face human connection type event, it would definitely be held at Avalon.
4:30pm: Our mom Skypes to say happy V-Day and looks both concerned and amused when we show up on her screen looking like a 16-year-old deep into her first EDC. “As long you're having fun, honey,” she says. And we are. We are sort of having fun.
5:00pm: DotEXE comes out strong with a load of dubstep.
5:18pm: There are currently 283 people in the room. “Is this real life,” asks someone in the chat named RaveTrax, and the question strikes us as somewhat profound. Yes? Sort of? We don't know. The future of raving is confusing.
5:30pm: We take another shot of whiskey as Dotexe drops a sample of Blink 182's “First Date” and the crowd goes wild, which basically means that there's a lot of action in the chat room. Lots of “eearrgasm!!!!” and “MAKE SOME NOISE!”
It's just not the same though. Honestly guys, online raving is kind of lonely.
6:20pm: Mikael Weernets drops a sample of SHM's “Antidote” which haters be damned is an epic raving song and totally gets us up out of our chair dancing. This set is pretty righteous, actually. If this were happening in an actually live capacity we'd probably be freaking out right now.
6:40pm: As we dance, we experiment with doing exactly what the lyrics say to, which means “fucking hands up in the hair” for about 10 minutes. We're getting tired. We've been raving like, all day.
6:45pm: Someone named “Corey Bacon” has become our fan on Mixify, which is hosting this rave, which begs the question, why the fuck do we not have more fans right now? And also, what does that even mean?
6:50pm: Weermets set is a pure Top 40 EDM fusion fest as he drops samples from Florence and the Machine, Lykke Li, Justice, Gotye, Red Hot Chile Peppers, Rihanna (“Diamond” is some sort of vicious earworm) REM, and Adele. We are singing. We are setting fire to the rain.
6:55pm: From the chatroom: “I DON'T BELIEVE MY EARS! I JUST TOOK SOME MOLLY!” This set is peaking. The synth siren rises as the crowd yells stuff: “I want to get laid tonight!” “Follow me on Twitter!” “I AM FREAKING OOOOUUUUUUUTTTTT!”
7:00pm: Weermets ends his set and with it the festival closes. We are sweaty and mildly buzzed. We take off the tutu and throw ourself on the couch. Online raving is weird, but it's also really convenient.