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  Chromatic 7.7.01
by Shane Bailey

Venue: The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
Presented by: Vinyl Boy

Even after being moved to the Masquerade from its originally scheduled venue, The Market, after abuse of the site and neighboring properties, the demand was still high for Chromatic featuring Spacemen and Steve Lawler.

Upon arriving, it appeared the parking lot line was longer than the one to enter—definitely a good sign. Before the venue filled, and even throughout most of the night, the temperature stayed at a rather comfortable level, with air conditioning able to be felt on the floor when standing in certain spots. In addition, the stairwells stayed surprisingly clear on this night, making it very easy to travel from one room to the next. Even though the event started at 10PM, Heaven was not scheduled to open until midnight. This was delayed by the closing of the Beatnutsí the band playing the concert going on up until then.

In the meantime, Stryfe kept the incoming crowds at bay in Hell. Once they were done and through in Heaven, Paul Santana played one of the most diverse sets I have ever heard a DJ attempt. Within his set, the variety included Josh Wink's "Higher State of Consciousness," Fat Boy Slim's Old Skool Mix of "Renegade Master," New Order's "Confusion," and Natural Born Chillers' "Rock the Funky Beat." A breaking circle ensued during the appropriate portion of Santana's set and it seemed some of Beatnuts' crowd were lurking and participated in the dancing showcase. Once Santana got going, Hell emptied out as everyone proceeded upstairs into the more spacious Heaven. Especially for an opener, he got quite a reaction from the crowd and was perfect for starting the main room off on the right foot. And with what was in store, it was a sure good thing that Santana produced.

Speculation began earlier in the day from the news that Steve Lawler had to cancel recently in Toronto due to his records getting misplaced. Suspicion increased as the night progressed and the acts got pushed back later, even though it was inevitable to a certain extent, due to Paul Santana not starting on time as a result of the Beatnuts going over. This being said, Spacemen didn't go on until 2:45AM, an hour and 15 minutes late. Before the highly anticipated interactive performance, hundreds of 3-D glasses were considerately handed out to the crowd. Soon thereafter, the three-piece group came out in their metallic hooded gowns, capped off with praying mantis-like masks. The setup included two synthesizers and an electronic drum machine. By the end of the performance, those in the front and middle were covered in either glitter, confetti, foam, or all of the above (myself included) from the props used by the "leader."

This beaked, horned creature that resembled an alien form of Predator came out periodically in different costumes and had some trick up its sleeve each time. The crowd reacted in anticipation every time it retook the stage, and the finale was its crowd surfing near the end of the set. Also appearing on stage for the crowd's enjoyment was a being contained in a toxic waste/astronautical suit containing reflectors and green beams from the eyes of the helmet. Even with these sometimes-bulky costumes on, the group's members still found ways to dance to the live music the other three were creating. Sure enough, what some had feared was indeed true. At the conclusion of Spacemen it was announced over the pa that Lawler would not be playing, and that a makeup party would be scheduled within the next couple of weeks. Next, Sean Cusick proceeded to go on around 4AM, an hour and a half earlier than he was originally slated. Upon the cancellation announcement, many either headed for the door, or downstairs to catch the tail end of Rick West and beginning of Odi. Those who stuck it out in Heaven were given a heavy dose of deep tribal house from Cusick. Once everything settled and both DJs in Heaven and Hell got more involved in their sets, it seemed the number of people tended to balance itself between the two main rooms. Overall, it was a bit disappointing, in that Lawler's absence made it two changes to the original lineup in the previous two days, considering Moda's being replaced by Cusick.

But, one cannot deny Vinyl Boy's professionalism by taking responsibility for Lawler's absence and offering a free make-up party in return.

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