A Review of Party Illegal’s Jubilee Show at the Pinhook on 2/15/14

Party Illegal hosted a party in Durham featuring Jubilee (NYC/Miami) on February 15th that had the Pinhook nearly at capacity. The Pinhook was the perfect venue for this show, and is definitely my favorite spot to hang out in Durham in general. The party was supported by Uzoma Nwosu, Mike Shoffner, and the Durty Durham Collective.

John Brier’s writeup of Party Illegal’s Jubilee party at the Pinhook for Triangle Beats (http://trianglebeats.com/Review-Illegal-Presents-Jubilee) was a nice start, but didn’t even begin to capture the magical vibe that I experienced during the entire party. Here’s my own take of the party to fill in the gaps and to provide a comprehensive picture of what it felt like to be one of the lucky souls at the Pinhook when Jubilee rolled into town.

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Flyer by Patrick Phelps-McKeown

The night already had an enchanting vibe; there was a full moon and I couldn’t stop looking up at the sky.  As I was setting up my turntables at the Pinhook, I got to really talk to Breniecia Reuben, aka Luxe Posh, for the first time IRL (she has an epic twitter presence btw).  She’s really rad, and has several parties going right now that I intend to visit, such as her new Full House parties she throws in Raleigh with her collective of the same name, and the notorious NB4R parties she DJs with Jermainia in Chapel Hill.  Laura Friederich, aka Queen Plz, began her set early, at 9:30. Queen Plz is the heart and soul behind Party Illegal, and has been working tirelessly to ensure that this party is safe and comfortable for absolutely everyone who walks through the door, along with Patrick Phelps-McKeown, aka producer and DJ Treee City, and Thomas Kellum, who was working the soundboard like a boss. Thomas Turner also did a great job bringing the L.E.D. backdrop and fog action, as always.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters*  

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Photo credit: Eric Waters  

I’ve been throwing parties with Queen Plz for a few years now, and she is still, hands down, my favorite. She teasingly told me she had a few new tracks up her sleeve, but I had no idea that she had ALL new tracks up her sleeve. She had a sly mastermind smirk on her face during most of her set, like she was perpetually getting ready to drop something mind-blowing. And she did. If you were unable to attend or arrive early enough to hear her set, you can catch her mix here: https://soundcloud.com/queenplz/oxytocin.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters  

In his write-up, John Brier dismisses her track selection as sexist. What’s more sexist, though – Queen Plz subversively playing these tracks or a cis male writer discounting her amazing set for playing a few tracks he has deemed “not appropriate” without even considering her rationale for playing them?

After Queen Plz finished tearing the club up, I hopped on the decks. I can’t really write my own review, but I’ll just let you know what I experienced during my set. People were starting to stroll in, and I wasn’t really getting a good read on the crowd right away. After the first few tracks, people had gotten their drinks and were headed to the dancefloor, so I played a few tried and true house tracks that people always dance to. Then I dropped an old school drum and bass anthem, AK1200’s “Drowning”, just to test the crowd (and to fulfill my own nostalgic desires, and possibly Jubilee’s if she was around to hear it). All of the old school ravers suddenly emerged from the crowd and went into hypnotic raver mode, which made me so happy.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters  

I went back to a modern dance track, played a little Chicago footwork, and then returned to another old gushy raver anthem, “Inner City Life” by Goldie. I heard my friend Aaron, a party kid in a previous life (and the one sporting the horse head), shout when he heard the opening line being mixed into the previous track. About midway through the song, I looked to my left and there was Jubilee sitting on the stage. Yay!! I dropped a few more old dnb tracks, because hey, why not? My emotions are so strongly tied around some of these old tracks, and to share that with both strangers and friends made me feel a little vulnerable at first. But then I felt so warmly accepted by those who fell into that space with me without abandon that I felt happier than I’ve felt in a long time, and even HEALED in a way. In fact, I felt so close to the crowd by the time I got off stage that I headed straight to the dancefloor to follow up on that feeling.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters

I danced during the entirety of Luxe Posh’s set, because it was amazing. Her track selection was on point and had a ton of variety. Also, I am a huge house-head and thoroughly appreciated every single house track she played.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters

During her set, Chauncey had entered the crowd with their staple tambourine. I love seeing Chauncey at a dance party, every damn time. I dance with Chauncey and others, and we fed off of each other’s energy to the point of near ecstacy. A dance circle had formed, and people were hopping in to be momentarily celebrated by a group of loving strangers for their improvisational dance moves. Luxe Posh successfully kept the energy going up until Jubilee hopped on, and the switchoff felt, to quote Beyoncé, flawless.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters

Jubilee DELIVERED. She had a really hard time getting to NC because of the weather and flight cancellations, but she was determined to get here, largely because of the enthusiasm from all of the people in this area who communicate with her on twitter. Thank you, twitterers! She dropped her bass heavy tracks on the four-sub system brought in especially for her by Badman Sound.  Now, can we just talk about these speakers for a moment? Holy shit. I am no stranger to those speakers; they are a part of most Party Illegal shows. But on this night, the music Jubilee played took them to the next level. Jubilee’s whole vibe and sound already screams Miami, but with the warm bass air wafting off of the speakers into my face, I literally felt like I was there. Also, those speakers were giving me some of that real good sexual healing. I could not stop my grind. In short, my body was quaking. After her set, I wanted a cigarette and I quit smoking nearly 10 years ago. One of my favorite moments of the evening was at the very end of her set, where Queen Plz, Luxe Posh and I were onstage with Jubilee and we were all singing Drunk In Love at the top of our lungs, and so was everyone on the dance floor.

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Photo credit: Eric Waters

As people were billowing out of the Pinhook, sweaty and satisfied, and members of the Durty Durham collective were taking down all of the posters on consent hung up during every Party Illegal, we got to talk to Jubilee for a bit. She was super friendly and complimented all of our sets. She shared her experience on throwing parties, social networks, and how annoying it is when people focus on her gender rather than her skills and accomplishments (tying back to this interview: http://www.openingceremony.us/entry.asp?pid=9150&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tw_012814). She also made my night when told me she walked in and heard “Inner City Life” playing and was stoked. Nostalgic mission accomplished. I presented her with a tropical magic eye poster with a flamingo on it that I found at my grandmother’s house and she said she’d add it to her collection, because apparently lots of DJs give her flamingo souvenirs to put up on her wall. Awesome.

Though getting to NC was a nightmare, Jubilee said this party made it completely worth it, and she left happy. Party Illegal, Durty Durham, Queen Plz, Luxe Posh, Uzi, Michael, the Pinhook, Chauncey, and everyone else that showed up to make this party happen: THANK YOU. That was some next level shit.

*for more photos, check out the whole series: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.592087564213056.1073741833.373336726088142&type=3

and more of Eric Waters: www.ewatersphoto.com

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