Kaskade: A Man Who Truly Loves His Job (HQ Beachclub)

Alright. I tried not to do this. I tried to keep this blog general, relatable, humorous, inquisitive or whatever, and not full of reviews of specific events, but it’s now almost been a week and I feel the need to write about the wonder that was June 1.

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Last weekend Kaskade graced Atlantic City with his presence by playing at the Revel’s HQ nightclub on May 31, and then again at the new HQ Beachclub on June 1.

While I was unable to attend his nightclub set, I made sure to find myself a little spot on the dancefloor at the Beachclub to witness for the first time one of my favorite DJs do his thang.

And boy did he do it well.

Behind the DJ booth, Matt Goldman started the party at this Vegas-style club, complete with a pool, bars, views of the Atlantic Ocean, and VIP service if you so choose.

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From the beginning, you could tell that people were there to get down. Dancing was already occurring in the shallow end of the (what I can only assume to be) heated pool, drinks were being served…and spilled… and the music was only getting louder.

As time passed, I soon found my way to my desired spot for the afternoon: right near the front. Usually at shows I stand off to the side or near the back. But not for Kaskade.

As 3 pm approached, you could sense the anticipation in the crowd. We were ready for some Summer Lovin’.

Kaskade began his memorable set with a tease, playing the song Atmosphere before its actual release. Finally seeing Kaskade behind that booth after waiting hours in the hot sun mixed with hearing an amazing new song live made the crowd go wild.

I briefly glanced around behind me to see everyone singing along to the moving lyrics, jumping out of excitement, and smiling widely. There was not a still nor silent person in that crowd.

Kaskade moved along his set by playing some crowd favorites (and/or mash-ups) such as Eyes, Lessons in Love, Turn it Down, Last Chance, 4 a.m.,  and Room for Happiness.

While I was hoping and somewhat expecting to hear some of these songs, what really made the crowd ecstatic was his insertion of multiple genres, including some (but not too much) trap.

Kaskade even incorporated a mix of Zedd’s hit tune Clarity (although playing such an, in my opinion, over-played song shocked me a bit, but I suppose he was trying to appease all members of the crowd by playing something they know.)

Whenever the crowd was starting to slow down or lose energy, Kaskade would change it up in order to bring us right back to our dancing feet! Signs of a great DJ!

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What impressed me the most about Kaskade’s performance was how much you could truly tell he enjoys his job. Not only was he into his music, but he was dancing around, jumping up and down, smiling, interacting with the audience (I swear we shared a moment during Turn it Down), and singing along.

Knowing he enjoyed what he was doing made it that much more enjoyable for us, the crowd.

He even ReTweeted my compliment about it later that night.

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One of the most memorable moments was during No One Knows Who We Are, when everyone’s hands were high to the sky and voices were singing loudly along with the words, including, of course, Kaskade.

There was such a sense of camaraderie and unison among the crowd at that time and space. We were one, living in that moment, brought together by Kaskade’s music. “We are right now”.

As time passed way too quickly, Kaskade left us with the statement, “I think I convinced these guys to let me come back”, and I tell ya, Kaskade, I sure hope you do.

This may have been my first time seeing him, but it will definitely not be my last.

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*Pictures from instagram : @dtam09

*Follow me on Twitter: @Dat_assh

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People Watching in Atlantic City

This past weekend I trekked on down to the wonderful party city of Atlantic to see  Kaskade at the new HQ Beachclub at Revel (I’d highly recommend this Vegas-style club).

While I don’t gamble (ain’t no body got monies fo’ dat), I had a fabulous time exploring the beach, casinos, bars, and nightlife along the boardwalk, and of course meeting new people… aka people-watching the AC visitors.

Here is a list of the types of people I hope you are fortunate enough to meet, run into, have a conversation with, or simply watch while in Atlantic City.

1. The stoned older couple on the beach. I’m not speaking like, OLD-old, but  they were old enough. This couple will be super friendly, ask where you are from, tell you about themselves, and throw in a few recent stories of partying.

They might compliment your home city, “You girls from Philly? I can tell by your personalities. Women tend to be more alpha in Philly. We love Philly.”  Thanks sir!

Or even give you some pointers on where to spend your evening.

And then the stories about cannabis will erupt without warning. “Yeah man, this guy came up and was like yo… is that weed? And I was like shut up man, take a hit, but shut up.”

Oh.

And then the police will drive by along the beach on their little 4-wheeler thing and for a split second you will pretend to not be associated with them in any way. “Ah man, that was close. I have an open beer and a joint in my hand”…he says….

Oh.

Needless to say, these people will be entertaining to talk to and you will probably thoroughly enjoy learning about their lives.

He will probably travel a lot, specifically to Miami, but his girlfriend-wife-lady-friend has to stay home because she works a ‘real job’…

uh, what do you do sir?

Don’t ask questions. 

So, if you ever have the chance to spark up a conversation with a baked couple in their, say, early 40s on the beach- DO IT. It will at least keep you entertained and keep your mind off of the chilling sea-breeze for a few minutes. You might even get invited to meet them by the slot machines later. Too bad you don’t gamble.

2. Older foreigners. These foreigners will be wearing full garb, including long jeans, argyle sweaters, suit jackets, boots, hats, etc…in June….

They will have various different cameras and each stand independently in front of the ocean, one-by-one, in order to have a photograph taken of them.

Although there will be about 7 or 8 of them, they will not take any group photos. They will all stare at the model and smile from behind as one of them takes the photograph, and then they will switch positions.

Although you will probably not interact with this group at all, this is a prime opportunity to people-watch from the comfort of your own tanning location as you take selfies with your group. (…We all have our different photographing preferences)

3. Grampa. Grampa looks innocent enough. But then you realize it’s 11 p.m. at a beach bar on the boardwalk and he is sitting alone, smiling, sipping some drink with a paper umbrella in it. The DJ is playing some crappy LMFAO song and Grampa starts bobbing his head along. Whatever, he’s Grampa, what’s he gonna do?

You and your friends head to the dance floor whenever the terrible LMFAO song is done being played and you begin to go crazy, dancing, singing along, jumping about. You look over and Grampa has moved. He is now at the closest table to the dance floor, still smiling, nodding his head along with the music, and sipping his drink. But this time his innocence has turned into a sly smirk. He is glaring into your soul, or perhaps at your chest, you’re not really sure.

You ignore it and continue dancing, but every time you glance over, there he is…staring…watching your every move…

You are not sure whether you should think “Aww cute little Grampa over there, just trying to have a good time”, or “WHAT THE HECK, MAN? YOU’RE CREEPING ME OUT. GO PLAY BINGO!”

Eventually you realize you should feel creeped out and leave Grampa to creep on the other twenty-somethings in the crowd.

Oh wait, there weren’t any…

This should have been your sign in the first place.

4. The Bachelor Party. It’s Atlantic City- You are BOUND to come across at least ONE bachelor party during your stay. If you’re a girl- hang out with them. There has to be at least a few single guys in the group who are wiling to buy you some cheap beers. And, well, even the taken guys will probably be buying you drinks. I mean- their women aren’t with them.

**This is really the only advantage of hanging out with a bachelor party. I mean, they have their plans already. You just happen to be there as they are crossing one of the many bars they plan to attend off of their list. And well, right time and right place = free rounds on them!

5. Little guy. Okay, this is not to bash short guys. If you are a short guy and like taller girls- kudos! No discrimination. I like it. But Little Guy will indeed be at least a head shorter than you, and super unsettling to be around. You will come across Little Guy at one of the more popular clubs or bars, usually on the dance floor. He is the fist-pumping type…

Little guy will reach up with all of his might and tap you on the shoulder.

He’s kind of cute so you think “Alright, cool. New friend!”

And then he approaches your ear extremely closely, you can literally feel his lips on your lobes, and comes out with this line: “Hey sexy. I like your outfit.”

Like, no you don’t.

What he likes is that you are in your bathing suit in general. I mean, it is a beachclub. You smile, politely thank him, and turn back towards the DJ. And then you feel another tap from Little guy.

Ugh now what?

“Do you want a drink?”

Without even thinking you decline. And then you immediately wonder if you made a mistake. Should you have taken that free $15 drink? But then he gives you a glare and storms off, which makes you stand firm in your decision.

Clearly he was just trying to buy his way to rub onto your booty. (*See Dear Guys: What Not To Do At A Club

Also, the bar was like, way far away from the dance floor..who knows what he could have slipped into that drink by the time he got it to you?

Maybe if he hadn’t used that creepy pick-up-line-maneuver and practically bit your ear off he would have had a better shot to spend his money on you.

6. Actual new friends. Every time you go to Atlantic City, you should make an effort to leave with new friends. This will make up for all of the odd encounters you have had the rest of the weekend.

You will run into them serendipitously and instantly have a connection. It can be a group or a few individuals, but you will spend time chatting, laughing, dancing- whatever you please. They will ward off the creepers such as Grampa and Little Guy, and you will feel safe and carefree surrounded by your new friends.

When you are forced to separate, you will have a deep feeling of sadness wash over you. You can’t be done with your new friends already! So you will exchange numbers and hope to meet up again one day.

Express Yourself: Tutus in a Sea of Cocktail Dresses

On January 20th I celebrated my dream birthday: seeing one of my favorite DJs (Diplo) in a freakin’ crazy city (Atlantic City) with two of my best friends from college.

After listening to middle school tunes such as Misery Business and LG FUAD during the car ride, passing out for a nap immediately upon arrival in a huge party city, my vegetarian friend accidentally ordering a burger for dinner, and losing $5 in the slot machines, we were ready to rave.

On goes the tutus, LED accessories, and kandi (handmade bracelets traded in order to represent a specific event, moment, connection, person, etc)

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(^my collection)

Little did I know, and despite the other rave-esque shows I have attended in AC, “rave gear” is not usually permitted in the Borgata

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And so we roll up covered in neon and beads, are some how let into the Mixx night club, and instantly realize how out of place we look (even though we were some of the first people there…that’s a sign….)

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Hey, at least we matched the staff in their fluffies & booty shorts.

The crowd continued to arrive in their cute cocktail dresses and heels as we danced about with the sway of our tutus. We met a few awesome girls in the bathroom (there ya go boys, that’s what we really do in there- meet new friends) and a group of people who were so excited it was my birthday that they screamed “HAPPY BIRTHDAYYY!” to me any time we crossed paths throughout the entire night…which was a lot… I didn’t hate it.

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It was one of the most unique raving experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m so glad I was able to have such an experience. There were no light gloves or crazy outfits (aside from ours, I suppose) that I am so used to seeing, but every one was still all there for the same reason: the music.

I received numerous hugs from strangers wishing me a happy birthday,  gave away an entire arm’s-worth of kandi to those who were interested, explaining the meaning if they didn’t know, and was able to join in screaming my lungs out and dancing my worries away with a group full of diverse people united by music.

One of the girls that I met, after I traded her a special piece of kandi that I made, had no kandi to trade back, so she literally took one of her regular bracelets off of her arm and insisted that I take it. It was such an amazing gesture-I almost cried.

I had some interesting conversations such as the guy who claimed raves are only fun if on Molly and when I told him I disagreed-I’ve gone sober, he apologized and said he would take away the stereotype (thanks for further imbedding that negative stigma into the culture, sir) , or the guy who said “I’m surprised they let you in like that” and when I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or not, he continued “but I’m glad they did. Your outfits are awesome!”.

I also had some interesting encounters such as the older man who kept trying to dance with each of my friends by casually showing up behind us even after we consistently said “No thank you”. If you are not my boyfriend, and you’re not because I’m single, then I do NOT want to grind with you at a rave. Sorry sirs.

But the absolute best moment of the entire night: Diplo played a BIRTHDAY mix, and despite the fact that I met others who were celebrating their birthdays that night, and birthdays are pretty common things- I took his mix very, very personally (after all, I have been tweeting to him about January 20th for weeks now…) And when it came on, the awesome people who were near me all surrounded me, pointed to me, and serenaded me.

Like. What. What an AMAZING present! I had half a rave sing a birthday mix at a DIPLO show to me!

So, I have to admit that it was unique dancing in a tutu among a sea of business-attire and cocktail dresses, but it was an amazing experience because, and i reiterate, we were still all there and united for the same reason: the music. (Oh, and my birthday)

And that’s what it’s all about.

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**Also, if I could only still do a handstand I would have Expressed Myself all over that floor.