Deji and I were so under prepared for Halloween 2014 that if you peeked into our lives at 8:24 you would have found me proofreading a project online and Deji assembling our Halloween costume with glue, straws, paper and prayers. I think my reluctance to head to !Arcade Empire on this night was related to my Halloween 2013 experience which made me avoid the venue for 6 months. I was bogged down by memories of queues and terrible crowd claustrophobia. Some how I thought that Black Tiger Sex Machine were worth experiencing these things and I found myself at the ticketing entrance warning Deji not to touch any bleeding zombies, because Ebola is a real problem in the world currently.

Some of my highlights during the evening included laughing at the people stepping on the dance floor. Where did they come from? I was impressed, they likely had to take a time machine from 2008 to come to this party. I also enjoyed how Pinterest has inspired so many to take up the art of make-up effects. It was nice seeing the hits, misses and how make-up melted on the dance floor in front of the Robot Apocalypse stage. I also also enjoyed checking out the costumes.

Costumes that entertained me during the evening included:
– “Who dat? Who dat? Is she dressed as Iggy Azalea?”
– Seriously skanky girls in overly tight costumes, complete with breasts bulging in bras (tastefulness sold separately)
– The person who came dressed as an engineer, and likely was an engineer
– “Did he come dressed as a douche?”
“My costume is either Jesus (shakes hair down) or Samurai Jack (ties hair up).”
– Desmond & the Tutu’s Harry Potter inspired look
– The muggle in the audience
– A LED costume that lit up in certain ranges when you shouted at the person’s pants

Griet and !Arcade Empire really looked at systems they used last year and made things a lot better this year. There were shorter bar queues, an attempt at a cooling system at the Robot Apocalypse stage which featured all the electronic music acts, incredible decor and I never felt crippling crowd claustrophobia flair up. I did have a bit of a laugh at the cooling system that was used. I’ve always been concerned about the ceiling of the main dance floor that drips during hectic performances so you can imagine my horror when I noted a fine mist was permeating the air. I immediately covered my drink. It took me a while to notice that there were fans blowing mist to provide some sort of cooling. The mist, the heat generated by many moving bodies and the sweat created a steamy sauna. Many were shirtless and dripping (yuck).

Halloween 2014 reminded me how to be young, wild and stupid. Being there was weird because I was caught between being introspective and reliving my wilder days while experiencing a new moment at the same time. The night was about dancing with friends, having your jeans stuck to your body, electro trash, wondering if you should whip off your shirt or not, drinking 1.5 shots of Jagermeister, reminiscing about time that I dressed up as Double-Adapter and trying not to break ankle bones.

The best performances on the night were by Trancemicsoul and Black Tiger Sex Machine. I can easily see why Trancemicsoul has such an international appeal. He is a musical master and was able to get the crowd moving. Black Tiger Sex Machine, the trio that came all the way from Canada, smashed the stage with a high-energy electro trash set. They took everything that they could from the audience and the audience gave it right back to them. It was my first time seeing the whole crowd move together at any venue in South Africa, and that was amazing because that’s normally an experience I’ve had abroad.

There were a few things I didn’t understand during the evening. I didn’t quite know how to take the compliment of being told that I was one out of forty girls who actually bothered washing her hands when leaving the bathroom. I also couldn’t understand why so many people were inebriated to the point of having naps on the floor. There are many unanswered thoughts that I will let slide for now.

In closing, I had a blast at Halloween 2014. Well done, !Arcade Empire and Griet, well done!

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