Rare Vintage Rave Footage From Freakfest 1999 At State Palace Theatre In New Orleans [VIDEO]
With EDM being all the rage these days, I often think back to my first experiences with Electronic Dance Music and the rave parties that celebrated the culture surrounding it. I’ve seen many arguments over “then vs. now,” and while each era has it’s strong points over the other, you can’t deny the era that helped lay the foundation.
Instead of the cliche fur boots, skimpy tutus and t-shirts with phrases like “SORRY MOM” and “PARTY WITH SL*TS,” we see visors, phat pants and clothing worn to keep cool in anticipation of the inevitable heat from huge crowds and a night full of dancing. (the walls would literally sweat)
Instead of laptops and media players that automatically quantize music (read: basically mix the songs for you) so DJs can focus more on making heart hands and standing on the DJ table to raise the roof, the only equipment seen on stage back then were mixers, turntables, and microphones.
Keep in mind – unless you count BBSs, AIM, IRC, ICQ or web forums – in 1999 there was no social media to build false “hype” behind a DJ, persona, or brand.
Yes, this means as a headlining DJ, you actually had to:
- Purchase the records you wanted to rock the party with (they weren’t cheap)
- Select the best ones for your sets and mixes
- Read the crowd to see what records would be most effective for the party
- Program and mix (by ear) in such a way to throw the crowd into a frenzy
Once you got those basics down, (in addition to purchasing extremely expensive equipment to practice on) you had to execute them on a consistent basis to build your reputation and increase/maintain your value as a DJ. It also didn’t hurt to produce, being that most headliners back then had their own chart-topping records and mix CDs.
The payoff was that respectfully appreciative crowds would show up by the thousands and pay top dollar to see you do your thing and get every penny’s worth.
Another notable observation is that even though it was nearly 15 years ago, we saw a very diverse lineup at a rave party that consisted of Miami Bass legends 2 Live Crew, American house music legend DJ Dan, drum & bass guru AK1200, a big beat live performance from Uberzone with turntablist DJ Davey Dave, and more.
How’s that for pioneering genre-crossing?
Of course, no State Palace party would be complete without a killer closing set from the one-and-only DJ Stryfe, a staple in all of the storied Free Bass Society parties and one of the South’s most in-demand rave DJs for over a decade.
What every era will share is the endless debate over drugs, music, and controversy that still hovers like a black cloud over the EDM culture to this day.
Regardless of which era you partied in, one thing is for sure – the kids in this video probably had no idea that over a decade later we would dig up this video to wax nostalgic over a scene that was second-to-none, and helped pave the way for EDM as we know it.
Have you ever attended a “palace party?” If so, tell us about it in the comments below!