Nightlife The Rave Seen
posted by June 2 at 15:35 PMon
I recently began chaperoning my 14-year-old niece and her candy-raver friends at parties. Before we enter I them ask them not to eat pills, and then keep an eye out to make sure they don’t drink from random water bottles or smoke. That’s basically my role. Last night we went to a party called “Jello in the Sky with Diamonds,” which promised—you guessed it—Jello wrestling!
These were the highlights and lowlights: A girl named Angel gave me two glow bracelets and a cherry-flavored ring-pop, the Jello room was packed with half-naked teenagers who stunk like blue-raspberry Kool-Aid and feet, my niece stepped in a pool of blue vomit, one DJ played an entire set that sounded like a giant dental drill pulsating in a walrus tusk, and the police came. Back when Seattle’s rave scene was still fetal, the arrival of police meant the party was over, but last night the two cordial officers only helped tackle a creepy old man suspected of dosing kids with GHB… and the beats went on.
As for partying as a geriatric raver (nearly 30 now), it’s kinda weird—the scene has changed since I went to warehouse parties in the mid-nineties. The parties start earlier, like 9 p.m., and end before the sun rises. The DJs are still a gamble, but their sets and body language are more masturbatory now. House is all but dead, replaced by Happy Hardcore, Breaks and countless permutations of Trance. About half the kids are rolling, but the other half, including myself, are stone-cold sober. Nobody is on acid, but they all have glow sticks to give each other psychedelic “light shows.” The styles are more cookie-cutter and distinct: candy-tastic, emo-riffic, or poser-ous. My niece’s look is archetypical, with regalia that includes about a half-pound of candy—those bright plastic beads connected by thin elastic string—which covers all the skin between her wrists and elbows and everything from her collarbone up to her ears, a necklace with an enormous clear acrylic unicorn bust, and a powder-pink tutu. Her friends are adorned with similar garb. I stand out as looking plainly dressed and post-pubescent.