It was a sea of pixelated A-Trak heads (see: his Twitter Avi) in Webster Hall as I walked into the ballroom while Oliver was closing up their set, and it couldn’t have been more indicative of what was to come. The sold out crowd was about to experience two and a half hours of Fools Gold madness curated by the one and only A-Trak—something I, admittedly, had yet to be a part of.
First off, please forgive me if I don’t do the party justice—you can’t really put into words what Alain Macklovitch is able to do with two turntables and a microphone.
But I’ll try. This was the kickoff to a new series of Webster Hall Saturday night parties called “nrite nites.” As much as Webster loves to name things, I rarely pick up on anything truly different. This was an exception, however, if only for the massive LED screen with the booth perched about 10 feet off the stage. I know we’re here to listen to good music and all, but we’re all suckers for a little added production, and that’s just what this Saturday at Webster brought.
Now to the music…if there’s one thing you can say about A-Trak is that you can’t say anything about him. Not with any certainty, at least. I’ve caught snippets of his sets bringing the progressive house, I’ve seen him spin nothing but straight rap, and I’ve seen him bring the dubstep guns. Saturday night brought it all (but if we’re being fair, things got a little trappy).
As soon as he popped up from behind the booth in his classic fedora and leather jacket, the crowd was at his command. He jumped right into bootlegs and scratchwork I’ve never experienced before and I was actually in awe. “Disco Nap” brought with it the “Bands A Make Her Dance” tag, “Wild For The Night” got the everyone thrashing around as if Skrillex was up there, and when “All Gold Everything” segued into “Please Help Me Find Molly” (cheesy, but damn it, it worked), we lost it. In between was everything from Bootleg Fireworks (The Rebirth), to Higher Ground – Clique, to A-Trak’s Night Out remix, to a little Started From The Bottom – Get Free (Whatsonot Remix) routine. We got it all, and then some. Finally, closing it out, what else could he play but Barbara Streisand to get the entire building jamming to the old classic as he crowd surfed his way to the end of the night.
But as for the stellar set, he may have cheated a bit. Since he spent about a quarter of his time in front of the massive LED wall – crowdsurfing, dancing with his timeless mascot, and being ruthlessly dragged into the crowd – I was trying to figure out who was actually doing the DJing. It took a hungover twitter hunt the next morning to finally figure it out—for almost the entire show, he was going back to back with Chromeo. What a king.
And when the night was coming to a close, my entire gang was leaving, and Barbara Streisand was quieting down, I began to weasel my way out of the crowd. That was, until he came back on the mic and asked if we wanted one more song. Before he even finished the sentence, the entire crowd knew what was coming. And as the guitar riff opened up and the bassline came in, the whole place burst into song as “Get Lucky” blared through the speakers to close out my favorite night ever at Webster. No joke.
And the sounds of the night were…