Sasha Joseph

Having fun outdoors

Converse’s Let’s Take it Outside Music Party was always going to attract crowds.  It’s an international brand and most people got in for free, this bypasses the expectations that go along with an entrance fee. Upon entry it was clear to see that Converse achieved its much advertised goal. Getting different ‘types’ of people together and uniting them through their love for music.  An appropriately South-African like goal I thought for a party in the ‘MotherCity’.  The fact that there were three stages, each showcasing a different genre did wonders for achieving just that.

With the event being free for most and with many other places to spend your night in Town, they had to make sure the music made the people stay, and that’s exactly what they did. Whether by chance or some clever marketing ploy, I found myself by the Indie Rock stage first. It was here where ‘Holiday Murray’ was doing their thing. Within a few moments after hearing James Tuft, the lead singer, you got the sense that you’ve heard this all before, with a feeling reminiscent déjà-vu sweeping over you.  They had that sound which appears to be flooding the South African Indie Rock scene. All this was plain to see, or rather hear, in about five seconds. However hope springs eternal so continue we shall. Continue we did, but to no avail. It’s not that they were particularly bad; the sound was crisp and didn’t make your ears bleed. The lighting was decent and worked well with most of the songs. Even the penultimate song ‘Stop Thief’ really got the blood pumping. However, their set didn’t leave you with that sense of awe, that your life was now complete. They were merely entertaining, which could be forgiven as there were a few bands which played before them and still more to come.

Enough was enough though and it was time to move away. It’s strange, but only once away from the crowd do you notice the subtle, yet sublime décor surrounding you. It had such a unique style. Not the typical kind, with black, metallic’s and chromes, but a faint nod to yesteryear. Imagine if you will Picasso’s flat and you get the idea. Suede couches littered the venue for when you needed a break from the dance floor and lamps with those tin wires, which you often see people selling at robots, erected from the ground gave a nice ambience to it all. This all in sharp contrast to the sound of music being played and the look of their respective stages, particularly the Drum & Bass.

Step Out Sound System was on show at the Drum & Bass stage, the stage was the stock standard futuristic scene. Yes we get it; you are so futuristic with your bright neon lights and silver looking platform. When the music is like this though, who cares? With a beat going at that pace so many aspire to achieve. The golden standard in which it’s fast enough to dance to, but not so fast that you look like an epileptic monkey trying to keep rhythm. This DJ was especially skilled at building anticipation with flowing waves then ‘dropping’ the beat so loud your body quivers to the very sinew. Between all this madness, Converse related freebies were being thrown into the crowd at regular intervals .An effective way to keep the buzz going. He signalled the end with a final flurry of freebies and a track which continued in the same vain as its predecessors.

Next up was Hyphen vs.  SFR who unfortunately took a different route. While I understand the need to mix it up and keep it different, the crowd was at its peak and to see the energy of the dance floor die out so soon after it erupted was a sad sight to behold. Hyphen vs. SFR slower style, in which your body tends to groove was not very exciting. This was more because of when they were slotted and the timing of their music rather than the sound of their music. A style with harder, defined beats that you can ‘hit’ when dancing would have kept the crowd more alive, instead of the slumber it seemed to be approaching. But, perhaps that was the idea with the night coming to a close.

The set ended and people were packing up. It was a great night, with some disappointments in the Indie Rock area, but intense and powerful music in another. Everyone who came left with something. It might have been a freebie, a view into the way décor should be done or a great dancing experience. All I know is whether you went in free or paid the R80 entrance fee it was definitely a night well spent.