Arrived at Mod Club Friday night just in time to catch the last song by Brazilian electro-punk upstarts CSS , who had the audience going nuts for their rowdy guitar-driven attack. You had to feel a bit sorry for the sound guy when vocalist Lovefoxxx ventured out into the crowd with her microphone, eventually ending up dancing on the bar with an equally rowdy audience member, but the crowd ate it up, feedback squeals and all.
The changeover between CSS and Diplo took much longer than expected, and you could feel the room getting restless after a few minutes of silence. Eventually, the mixer, turntables and laptops were plugged in and he jumped into one of his trademark anything-goes party sets.
Cutting quickly between rock, hiphop, mash-ups, baile funk, electro, pop and anything else that popped into his head, Diplo made a strong case for the massive hype that's built up around him over the past few years. When you're playing such a wide variety of music, it can be tricky to maintain an individual identity and a cohesive flow, but he's refined it to a science, going off on cheeky tangents without ever coming close to losing the dance floor.
When I mentioned to a friend that I was going to check out Chicago's Green Velvet at Footwork , her first response was, "That guy is still alive?" He has a reputation for partying hard, an image thats been reinforced by sleazy odes to hedonism like La La Land and Flash, not to mention his manic and sometimes deranged live performances.
Image is often exaggerated, though, and he actually looked pretty clean-cut and wholesome this time out - more like a banker than the green-mohawked electro-freak we've come to expect. Lee Osborne had already warmed up the crowd nicely with some chunky, aggressive tech-house, and as soon as Green Velvet entered the booth the room started cheering.
To start off his set he cued up the video for his current club hit, Shake & Pop, but technical glitches caused the DVD to seize up repeatedly, so he had to abandon that plan and jump right into DJing.
He's better known for his live sets, but he's actually a pretty decent DJ as well, so his legendary showmanship and craziness weren't missed too much. Occasionally, he'd drop one of his tracks and pick up the mic and sing over it, which got a great response, but it's not quite the same when he's not prowling a stage and freaking out.
Layers and Milk teamed up Saturday night for an event called Kings Of Late Night at 99 Sudbury headlined by a couple of well-loved local DJs - Jason Palma and Tyrone Solomon - both of whom have rocked their share of late nights over the years.
This time around they used the smaller room, which was turned into a screening room a while ago and hasn't seen any dancing since then. It was a good decision: it has a great floor and better acoustics than the cavernous main room. Someone should invest the money to turn it into an actual club.
Both Solomon and Palma took the crowd through a journey of warehouse classics and current house, some of it on the deep and soulful tip, along with some dark and dirty tracks, all of it lovingly mixed by two of this towns foremost dance-floor experts.