Ahh! And here we go again, down the rabbit hole. I still remember vividly my memories of the last one last year. I’d never gone to a desert rave before. Mark Tomlinson (also fondly known by us all as DJ Dark Mark) very kindly offered to take me to my first one. It was a small group of us and I still remember driving down this dark dark road that seemed endless. Suddenly, he veered to the side of the road off to the roadless dirt. I almost screamed “ARE YOU CRAZY?!” at the top of my lungs, before catching on to the fact that we were in fact, on the right path. That night seemed straight out of a movie. It was honestly a great party. The djs had a lot of energy and really threw down so hard. Only thing that was a downer was the cops came to shut down the party early in the morning, I think it was around two or three in the morning. The helicopter with flashing red and blue lights above us frightened me, but we got out of there quickly enough. Despite all the negative stuff I’d heard about desert raves, I’ve to say I was really impressed by that first one. Mad World Productions threw a good show. I’m forever thankful to Mark, Jody and Jeremy for showing me such a good time. For my first desert rave, I thought it was very well-run, though it was a pity it got shut down. But I digress.
This year, the event had relocated to AURA nightclub on Mill Avenue in Tempe. This was to ensure the event would run smoothly and wouldn’t be shut down. I had nothing ‘Alice-in-Wonderland’ themed, so I made do with a black faux leather crop top and a black tennis skater skirt. I had dark black and gold glittery smokey eye makeup, dark red lips and with a lip brush,I carefully drew a small red heart with a dot beside my left eye.
Something funny happened when I got the the first of the line. One of the guys at security looked at me and said, “What? You think we don’t recognize you?! You changed, didn’t you?”
“What?” I blinked confusedly at him. “I just got here.”
So apparently, there was another small Asian girl who got too messed up and got kicked up. What girl would go home, shower, change her outfit AND her makeup just to get in the same event she got kicked out of? Who would go through so much trouble? Haha.
Anyway, I guess they looked at the photo of her and looked at me and decided I wasn’t her and let me in. I thought it was rather funny, honestly. Perhaps to some people, Asians really do all look the same! LOL.
Something I love about AURA is the fact it’s usually pretty nice and cold, unless it gets packed with too many people. When I got in around 11.30ish, it had just the right amount of people. Most people weren’t dressed in rave-y outfits, but some really went ham! Sean, who was a good friend of mine, (part of the duo that threw this party) had a really cool tall top hat with a white strip and a piece of paper with curlicue writing that said “In this style 10/6.” A couple of people were rocking tie-dye, which was cool. One girl I saw was bedazzled in gold glitter, with a floral tie front crop top. A girl dressed from head to toe as Alice looked cute in her poofy skirt and tight laced bodice. I high-fived a guy with a Zed’s Dead shirt as we talked briefly of how well they performed at Bassrush. A guy in a rabbit outfit with bunny ears and bunny nose and teeth, no less, hopped around, carefree as day. It made my heart happy to see people enjoying themselves in their rave outfits!
Micro was playing and it was tech-housey, which was vibey and I enjoyed it. SNAQ b2b Aisle 5 was next, throwing down some techno. Later on, DJ Illegal came on. He played techno at first, then slowly added some house in here and there. He really hit the spot with some of my favorite house tunes (one was ‘Cola’ from CamelPhat and Elderbrook!). I was mostly mingling and running around talking to people the whole night. I met some people from New Mexico, and I thought it was really cool they came out to support Sean and Courtney’s event. Sean Coochise, also known by his dj name Sean.C, sported a casual MAD WORLD PRODUCTIONS black t-shirt, jeans, and a tall top hat (like I mentioned earlier). I’ve always loved his sense of humility and his musical contribution and support to the scene. Courtney Retz, dj name Glowver, is also much beloved in the scene. She was decked out in furry brown, black sequin and pink paisley bunny ear hat, with black mesh draped over a bright red bralette and black shorts with black shorts and striped socks. She was dropping some heavy drum n’ bass, which I appreciated, her signature blue hair bouncing. I saw lots of striped socks and lots of kandi, especially at the other under 21+ side. Most of the ravers were on that side, headbanging their little hearts out. Garrett, dj name TRYB, was also there to close out the night, and he brought out his usual energy with hard-hitting tracks for a perfect finale.
AURA is becoming one of my new favorite venues, at least when it’s not packed to the brim. The bigger hall especially is always nice and cool with lots of dancing room. I dig the bright green leafy vines that drape around the place as well. Sadly, I’ve heard security at AURA is iffy at best, and have, at times, been really out-of-line with their behavior. I hope the staff takes note of this and make some changes.
Alice in Wonderland 3: The Queen’s Red Revenge, was fun for me for the most part. Definitely not as adrenaline-pumping as the last one (thanks to the po-po) but still, I had fun. I do have to say though, I’m partial to house music so some of the music was a bit of a miss for me, though I appreciated the variety. I do think it’s nice for events to showcase different genres, so people to open their mind (and ears). The people at this show were hype and brought a lot of energy to all the djs’ sets. There was also plenty of room to dance everywhere, which I loved. I hope this won’t be the last I’ll hear of MAD WORLD PRODUCTION events and am excited to see how much bigger and better this event will get next year! We’re definitely all mad here. 😉
To see the Phoenix New Times’ photos from the event, click here.
To follow up on Mad World Productions and future events, click here.
My beautiful friend, Yesi and I got featured in the Phoenix New Times for this event with the caption ‘Little black dresses never go out of style,’ which amused me. LOOK MA, I’m on the news! LOL.
About the author:
Singer at Drip Drop Records. Writer/Editor for Rave Hard Radio.
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