Originally the plan was to attend the HARD Haunted Mansion / Pier party on Friday the 26th and then go to Sensation on the 27th. But with the arrival of hurricane Sandy on Monday we were forced to jam them both into one night, things could be worse I suppose.
First up for the evening was HARD at Pier 94 which we arrived a little too early for, but we wanted to see Destructo do his thing and get a feeling for the venue. If you have never been to Pier 94 it's worth checking out, a really huge space and lots of room to move around and get fresh air. The venue was done up really well with an amazing main stage production with giant LCDs and lasers, etc.
Seeing how it was only 9:30 when we arrived the venue was only quarter full, so we watched Destructo warm it up a bit, had a quick drink and scoped the venue before hopping a cab to BK to get to Sensation.
hard haunted mansion nyc
We arrived in BK at the brand spanking new home of the Brooklyn Nets aka The Barclay Center. There was little or no commotion outside that would give you any clue as to the craziness that was happening inside. The event actually started at 7 pm, but that's just too extreme of an early bird special for this crew, it was bad enough arriving to HARD at 9:30. Will Call was seamless and the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly, in fact everyone that was working seemed in really good spirits which is rare at an event this size.
After getting loaded with more wristbands than we knew what to do with (I had a sparkly one that was supposedly super exclusive, but never figured out why?) we headed into the arena. At first it just seemed like your typical sports arena, big halls forming a circle with various vendors and handfuls of people in the hallways.
But once you crossed over into the party it was like popping through the Wardrobe into Narnia, everyone dressed in white gathered around a giant nucleus that resembled a hybrid of something out Tron and Alice in Wonderland.
The most incredible thing was just the pure mass of people in all white; it was surreal to say the least. Suspended from the ceiling in perfect symmetry were rows of glowing orbs, massive ones that changed color and went up and down with the vibe of the music. If that wasn't enough, each corner featured a giant lotus with a fountain in the middle that would also move in sequence with the vibe of the music.
It was as if the entire place was attached to the heartbeat of the center and moved in unison, it was a little like that last scene in Avatar when they are all gathered around that crazy looking tree. Of course there was smoke, lasers and pyrotechnics to add the extra POW to the wow. After a three plus hours at Sensation listening to some great sets by Fedde Le Grand, Joris Voorn and Nic Fanciulli we headed back to HARD to wrap it up and see Knife Party.
We found a town car, rammed everyone in and made it in time to see Knife Party literally tearing the place to shreds. We were fortunate enough to be taken to a VIP table to watch the completely rammed venue pulsate with the squelchy stomping and driving beats of the Knife Party boys. The energy in here was much more raw and sweaty than Sensation, two very different visions but both equally dope. The visuals on the LCD screen for KP were incredible, I wont forget the crazy skulls and evil imagery as my spine rattled.
It was a long night, but a good one. A quick hot dog, water and off to the hotel to pack… No way was I going to let Hurricane Sandy strand my ass. Thanks to all at Sensation/HARD/Pacha/Live Nation for making these events happen. Two completely mad and rammed events on one night, EDM culture is making a big comeback in NYC! More please.