After establishing my social life in Los Angeles, I’ve gotten very used to very pretty people and interactions that can border on superficial. I love L.A. parties because even in the underground, most of the people are sparkly in some way, and it keeps you engaged. But sometimes a change of scene is needed, and a great way to contrast the flashing lights of L.A. is with a short visit to that city to the north: San Francisco.
The weekend before last, I headed up. A previous Angeleno was my host, and as someone with very similar tastes to mine, I knew I would be in good hands for my Saturday and Sunday. I had been to San Francisco in 2011 previously for Love Parade a.k.a. LovEvolution, where DJs and collectives had floats that paraded the streets inspired by Berlin’s Love Parade. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been one since, and my next experience a few years later was the regular nightlife circuit.
It’s well known around the country that San Francisco cherishes their outdoor space and the environment, as well as their rich cultural history. It holds some of the top intellectual talent in the country, and it’s always easy to find a deep conversation and a friendly face on the dance floor.
For this visit, we focused on two parties with well-respected party creators: As You Like It with Unabridged and Sunset Sound System.
Despite a flight delay, I managed to make the last half of the 7th
Annual As You Like It Unabridged Picnic at Elk Glen Meadow in Golden Gate Park. I’ve started to be partial to parties that are inclusive to families and pets. People grow up, and the impact on sleep cycle and the comparison of drink prices to your crazy rent start to make less sense. The AYLI/Unabridged party had adorable little techno toddlers wearing clothes that were cooler than mine, with parents who were in the know of the best producers and shows. Friendly canines trotted from blanket to blanket, eagerly attended to by strangers. The “dance floor” portion of the grass stayed full, with the relaxing factions sprawled in conversation on the rest of the meadow.
The dance floor was kept hot by Solar playing B2B with Mozhghan, Mike Bee, Mark O’Brien, Sassmouth and other AYLI DJs. The attendees were supremely respectful- bathroom lines were single file, trash was retrieved, and the park rangers ended up having some fun because there wasn’t too much policing to do. A walk through Golden Gate Park was a perfect end to the early evening.
On Sunday, we hit the Sunset Sound System boat party. Established in 1994, the collective is a standard in SF for both day and night parties. My last boat party was for Defected Croatia, and I must say there is something fun about boat parties, besides the scenery. There is a sense of adventure, and comradery knowing that you are all in it together for the next few hours.
Sunset Sound system made sure this wasn’t some rickety fishing boat with a few turntables thrown together. The sleek cruising boat had well-dressed bartenders, and some food available. The bars never seemed too crowded, and there was plenty of room to dance. There were beautiful elaborate floral arrangements, adding another layer of sophistication without being stuffy.
Checking out the top 2 decks first, we were greeted by the sounds of an all-night Club 45 set with Vin Sol and Primo. My first view over the water was Raw Silk’s “Do It To The Music”. That funky vibe kept the fresh feeling upstairs. Views of various bridges, including Golden Gate, added to the views.
On the main deck, J-Bird and Galen started it off before the sunset, keeping it a little lighter and enhancing the feel of the changing light. After sunset, Solar prepped for Red Axes, moving into a more cerebral sound. Red Axes brought an incredibly unique set, both groove-driven and ethereal. It was one of my top sets for this year thus far. I highly recommend seeing the Israeli duo at their upcoming Lights Down Low show on May 26th
if you are in LA for Memorial Day weekend. You can also catch them at Movement in Detroit on May 28th
As You Like It’s next event:
May 20, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. @ The Public Works SF
Hessle Audio 10 w/ Ben UFO, Pearson Sound& Pangaea X Acid Camp
Sunset Sound System’s next event:
May 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. @ Stafford Lake Park
Sunset Season Opener Celebration (previous rain delay)
July 21, 2017 at 12 p.m. - July 23, 2017 at 7 p.m. @ Belden Town, CA
Sunset Campout 2017
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Connect with Sunset Sound System
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