Show Review: Bloody Beetroots with Pance Party at Mezzanine, 11/2/2010

by Gordon Elgart on November 4, 2010

On Monday night, the city celebrated (and rioted a bit). And on Tuesday night, some of those people celebrated (and rioted a bit) at The Mezzanine for another energetic show by The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, the in-your-face live version of the noted Italian DJs. And while the audience was pumped and ready for the show, the venue itself had no idea what they were in for. And it showed. For a mosh pit was about to happen at The Mezzanine, and not a soul seemed to be prepared.

When I arrived at Mezzanine, Pance Party were on stage. And other than the admittedly silly name, there’s nothing to laugh about. Armed only with a laptop and an analog mixer, the two producers who make up Pance Party were getting the crowd going something fierce. I thought, based on their name, that this would be some sort of disco-y mash-up thing, but instead it was pounding electro. In between shouts of “Let’s Go Giants,” the Pance Party crew played an energetic set, and got just about everybody ready for The Bloody Beetroots.

And then the first thing that happened when they took the stage was the forceful removal of the barricade blocking the stage. It was passed overhead as if it were a crowd surfer, and moved toward the more sparsely populated back of the room. Meanwhile the hardcore fans of The Bloody Beetroots acted like they do at these shows: a little bit of pit, a little bit of stage diving, and a whole lot of jumping. But unlike the show at The Independent earlier this year, which became a riotous celebration of music, the staff here were having none of it. Stage divers were routinely tossed from the venue (I noted one being dragged out of the building in an unnecessary sleeper hold), and after about 15-20 minutes of music, the house lights came on.

The band kept playing, and I went looking into what the heck was going on. It turns out there was some discussion about canceling the rest of the show because the crowd was so violent. Now, I personally was up in the middle of the pit (two drinks and an election not going my way made me ready to tear shit up), and I didn’t see any of this so-called violence. Sure, people were getting landed on by the rare successful stage diver, and there was some crowd surfing, and a little bit of aggressive push-to-the-front behavior. But, hello! The Bloody Beetroots are, at heart, kind of a punk band. And I just don’t think anyone involved was ready.

Eventually, the lights went out, the crowd cheered, but the insane raucous energy never came back. The light show was toned down, the set was shortened (down to an hour), and the security continued vigilantly making sure people weren’t having TOO good of a time. This is the first time I’ve seen a venue normally as solid as The Mezzanine, well, kinda fuck it up.

There’s something every venue needs to do when they book a show. They need to do their research. Some bands simply have unruly crowds: metal bands, punk bands, Hanson. I truly think that no one on the house staff knew what they were getting themselves into before they booked this show. They should have watched this video.

As for the Beetroots themselves? It was an onslaught. My clothes were soaked through with sweat, my ears rang through my earplugs, and my feet were begging me to stop jumping. Damn, it was awesome.

Can't wait for the Bloody Beetroots to come back.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Deej November 6, 2010 at 12:49 am

loveedddd this show, glad you wrote about what was going on I was right up front and wasn’t too sure what had really happened. The bouncers were indeed overly aggressive but it was an amazing show regardless. Can’t wait for the beetroots to come around again.

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Naysheen Washington February 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Mezzanine does not book their own shows – many outside promoters inquire about the space and then work with Mezzanine to put on a show, which is why the nights and musical genres of the venue are always so different and some nights pack whilst other nights don’t; It’s the promoter that has to do the promoting, not the club.

Sure they could have done their research, but it also would have been nice if the promoter said “expect 700+ crazy bastards. Have a concert barricade. You may want an ambulance on site.”

But from what I saw people still enjoyed it, and lots of people did not know it was going to be a live show, rather than the DJ set which had happened months earlier.

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