It was snowing like crazy and my feet were soggy, but Brooklyn had a haven from the storm.
Remember Friday when it was almost 60 degrees? Yeah, funny story. On Saturday night the temperature plummeted and five inches of snow fell over NYC.
But has something like a flash blizzard ever stopped any New Yorker? I don’t think so.
Saturday night was already a shoo-in for a good time and nothing was going to stop that. Playing that night was Jane Church and BODEGA in Elsewhere’s Zone One, and in the hall were The Mystery Lights, La Luz and Jonathan Toubin with his shadow go-go dancers.
Entering the venue at 8:45 sharp with my turtleneck and fur coat covered in snow, the 700-capacity spot was already packed. The Mystery Lights were just starting and things were heating up fast. It didn’t matter how strong the winds were blowing outside, everyone was burning up at Elsewhere.
It started with Jane Church—a new band that’s the baby of songwriter Jackson Church. They’re catchy and fun, but definitely have a strong base in true blue rock ‘n’ roll. Puddles formed on the ground, either from the snow melting off the crowd or the heat from Jane Church’s music. I’m going to side with the music.
To no surprise, The Mystery Lights put on a great show. They even had singers join them on stage for a couple songs, like singer Nikki Belfiglio from BODEGA. While they thrashed and hollered over the stage, the crowd jumped in unison and sang along, like hundreds of strangers had just become best friends.
Frontman Mike Brandon announced that even though they’ve been busy playing shows all over the world, this was their first show in about a year in their hometown of NYC. You could feel the excitement and happiness flowing throughout the band members on stage. The edgy, extremely relatable, too-cool-for-school rock ‘n’ roll was like electricity that kept the energy running at full speed.
After everyone lost their minds to The Mystery Lights, there was a great exodus to the smaller room where BODEGA was playing. The tiny room was trying its best to fit everyone from the Hall, but many of the people were squished to a corner or happily listening from down the hall. Even though it was much closer quarters, everyone seemed content. BODEGA provided their entertaining Devo-esque sound and dance moves that got the crowd moving and spirits lifted even higher.
I don’t think a bad vibe would’ve survived in these conditions.
La Luz was the last band of the night before Toubin’s DJ set and dance contest. A calmer sound than the rest of the bands that played that night, La Luz still warmed everyone up on the inside. Their hypnotic melodies and airy vocals may have given the crowd a breather from jumping around and moshing, but energy levels never dropped.
The night was then taken over by the cool cat DJ Jonathan Toubin. First with an epic dance battle, judged by the bands, that ended with a duel of two guys dancing shirtless jumping around and landing in splits. Then a vinyl DJ set of swinging beats that possessed everybody to move their hips whether they’re on the dance floor or not. Toubin was, of course, accompanied by his mesmerizing shadow go-go dancers that kept the groove going—watching their silhouettes projected onto the screen made me want to watch my own shadow dance. You’ll always have a dance partner if you’ve got a shadow.
The night ended with a disco DJ set in Zone One by Village People Cowboy Randy Jones. Couples were seen dancing closer and closer in dark corners while people trickled in and out to grab a breather of the crisp cold air before going back inside and dancing the rest of the night’s oomph away.
The next day the sun was back, the snow was melting and the meteorologist was already reporting temperatures in the high 60s for the rest of the week. It almost felt like the night was all a beautiful winter wonderland rock ‘n’ roll dream.