On October 27, Boston was home to one of those events that had it all. lespectacle was a stellar example of an emerging breed of gatherings that blends music, arts and community while providing an open minded atmosphere. lespectacle was put on by a self-described “aggressive dance music” group lespecial. The event was hosted in Boston at a gargantuan industrial building which has been transformed into communal art space and private studios.
lespectacle began in the afternoon with an open visionary art gallery curated by Samuel Farrand. Boston’s own Encanti, hosted a technology seminar on music production and Skytree gave an invocation speech to kick off the potluck feast and the evening. When I arrived the area was abuzz with a mischievous, excited energy. People dressed in costumes ranging from fancy feathered garb to fully painted faces and full-length robes could be seen arriving from all directions surrounding the building.
Upon entering, I literally felt my jaw drop. It was like stepping into a vortex of color and sound; it was delightfully paralyzing. The main stage was built upon a platform and was the recipient of carefully designed projections provided by Dutch Masterson Designs and Tamara while Skytree’s auditory messages oozed through the sound system. As much as I wanted to stay and absorb Skytree and the visuals dancing in front of me I was excited to see what else was in store so once I settled in I made my way through to check out the rest of the building.
Walking through that first space I found myself in a narrow room, which had been transformed into a visionary art gallery. Vendors hosted tables presenting their goods – beautiful crystals, jewelry, blown glass and prints. Continuing on there was a cozy nook of a room with couches that served as the meeting place for many new friends. Attached to that room was a huge spread of food and tea and water all of which were available throughout the event. Last but not least was my favorite spot – a loft stage atop a spiral staircase that was beautifully decorated with hanging moss, white lanterns, and three talented live painters.
lespectacle was perfect in that it paid mind to all of the needs that I think should be attended to at an event like this. It promoted creativity and provided a basis for making connections – bringing together audio and visual artists, decorators, writers, dancers, even pancake chefs. The community of attendees was warm and friendly. I danced until I couldn’t dance anymore, then moved on to relax in the adjacent room and have really solid conversation as it wasn’t too loud – something that rarely exists at an event with live music present.
The night was obviously a good way to let loose (responsibly) as well. The focus on nourishment rather than intoxication was refreshing. There was also a hilarious list of costume contests including “Most Respectable Hat” and “Least Provocative” which resulted in people dressing as mad hatters, adorning themselves in feathers, airbrush painting themselves in Avatar Na’vi fashion, straight up ignoring the contests and everything in between.
Music-wise the standout sets for me began with Blueboy Productions whose fine fusion of hip-hop samples, upbeat bass-heavy production over body-moving drum beats is impossible to resist. After BBP’s alien gibberish I took a break before being totally blown away by the Supersillyus Life Band. The performance was the culmination of months of practice from Supersillyus‘ Rob Uslan, Luke Bemand and Rory Dolan from lespecial, guitarist Derek VanScoten, and keys/synth support from Wobblesauce’s Mike McCarthy. What transpired was massive sound. The combination of Uslan’s tribal drums and classic Supersillyan beeps and boops with multiple layers from live instrumentation felt like what the live Shpongle performance is to studio Shpongle – amazing. I feel fortunate to have witnessed it and really hope to experience that magic again. Another favorite was Push/Pull, one half of the former perileyes, my friend Liam Collins. His production is so tight and clean and translates seemlesly from production to a live set. When he was getting set up I overheard someone describing him and say that he has “great stage presence,” which is incredibly true. Throughout his set on the loft stage we all danced along with his delicious, drippy beats, laughing and screaming as he smiled and grooved behind the decks himself. Lastly, hosts lespecial tore it up, releasing the energy they had been collectively building up for their very own celebration. Each set at lespectacle was unique in part due to the music but also thanks to the careful detail paid to each stage to creating unique atmospheres.
At the end of the night instead of leaving exhausted and deafened I felt refreshed, inspired and nourished. I met amazing artists (do yourself a favor and check out Dizolver Studios, you won’t be disappointed) had great conversations with new friends, danced for hours and just felt generally lighter feeding off of everyone elses’ positive energy. Special thanks to lespecial, the Brain Trust, Electrogenic and Lostinsound.org for all of the work that it took to host such a wonderful evening.
Check out the full gallery of photos from lespectacle here.