I’m not a big fan of Sasha and Digweed. But I’m also not one to turn down a trip to NYC, especially when it’s my first visit to the legendary Webster Hall. So after confirming that the Fit can comfortably seat three adults plus cargo, we jumped on 81 and took 78 straight into the city. A two-and-a-half-hour jaunt later, which included but was not limited to actually managing to get lost in the Holland Tunnel (which is technically impossible), we arrived. $12 to park for the night — a steal in Manhattan — in a garage that was only three blocks from the club. Excellent!
The thing I never liked about the duo is that they just don’t seem to throw out any energy at all. I know plenty of people disagree with me, so be my guest. But for me personally, they just don’t work. Still, the $40 tickets were far from overpriced for NYC (especially in a place with a $30 cover). And a trip to NYC is worth it in and of itself, pretty much regardless of circumstance. I figured the worst that would happen is that I’d get a trip to Webster Hall at a $10 premium — and that’s exactly what wound up being the case.
As is par for the course for me going to New York City nightclubs, my camera batteries died after about 45 minutes and only maybe three dozen shots. I didn’t bring spares because the batteries I have now usually run for several hundred shots before taking a break. Guess I should’ve known. Unfortunately, of the pictures I took before losing power, none were particularly upload-worthy, and only a handful were even remotely interesting.
The venue itself is fascinating. Webster Hall is old, grimy, institutional, dark, unbalanced, and gritty — exactly everything a NYC nightclub should be. It feels dirty and decrepit without actually being either. There’s no mistaking the fact that the place has been in constant use as a nightclub for well over a century. It doesn’t try to look clean or ultra-modern; rather, it plays on its late-19th-century heritage for full effect. You couldn’t build a more suitable nightclub for the city if you spent billions.
We arrived around midnight, the NYC equivalent of 9pm in downtown Harrisburg, to a surprisingly swift five-minute wait in the pre-purchase line. Security was actively bouncing line cutters while doing their best to pack us through the doors. No hassles and speedy check-in — nice.
Naturally, the sound system throughout was spectacular. Zones that barely shared a dividing wall didn’t step on each other in the least, and the five simultaneous formats all sounded rich and thumpy. And of course, the lights were all High End (except for the lasers, which I believe are Martin – someone correct me if I’m mistaken). But as with every other NYC venue I’ve ever been to, the lights looked like they were left on autopilot all night. There’s something to be said for synchronizing the sights with the feel of the set.
We wound up leaving the club around 4 and the city around 6:30. I would’ve loved to have stayed longer and spent an entire Saturday exploring, but after going on 20 hours without sleep, that just wasn’t going to happen. The trip and venue were completely worthwhile, even if the main act wasn’t. A mediocre night in New York City beats a rainy night in downtown Harrisburg any day..