Sandra Collins 11.24.99
by Sabrina Sexton Weil
Venue: Cobalt - Atlanta, GA
When we heard that Sandra Collins was coming on the night before Thanksgiving, we were ecstatic. We've had the pleasure of hearing her several times in 1999, and we've enjoyed her versatility and enthusiasm. When we heard that Sandra was coming to Cobalt, we were absolutely thrilled.
You see, Atlanta doesn't really have a great place to go hang out, drink and listen to awesome music if you want to be around the twenty-one and up crew. There are a few places that are great on the downtempo or house tip (Fountainhead Lounge and Nomenclature come to mind), but if you like progressive music, you've pretty much been out of luck. Until Cobalt started doing their thing.
First of all, let me tell you how beautiful the place is. Cobalt is the definition of urban, sexy chic. The downstairs bar area is long and cool, but it doesn't lack personality. Bottom-lit vases of irises punctuate the seating across from the bar, and supple leather furniture dot the rear area, providing a comfy place to chat and people-watch. Upstairs, it's obvious that they actually thought about dancing taking place the bars are conveniently off against the walls, instead of annoyingly in the way like they are in most Buckhead establishments. There is a VIP lounge behind the dj booth, and it's separate enough that different music can be played back there. The dj/lighting booth is tiny, though, and I'm afraid that one day a claustrophobic dj is going to freak out in the middle of his set.
Oh, one more reason I like this place: the staff is actually nice! I've been to too many Buckhead bars/clubs that seem to frown at you if you don't have the right kind of highlights or silicone implants. The staff at Cobalt is downright friendly, eagerly suggesting drinks you might like and asking you if you're having fun. I really appreciate that.
The night seemed to start a bit late, but it was probably better that way because that meant we still got to hear Little Jen downstairs when we arrived. I love this girl. She has really matured into an excellent dj. And she's so fun! I'm not a huge fan of drum and bass, but I could listen to Little Jen all night.
When we made our way upstairs, Liam Kennedy was playing. He was very good...someone we were with said he was playing "the Balance sound." I guess what he meant was that Liam's style of progressive was similar to that of his peers in the Balance Promote Group, including such talents as Chris Fortier and the star of the evening, Miss Sandra. And when you're in company like that, you've got to be good. It's too bad more people weren't there to hear him, but as the end of his set neared, the club was filling up quite nicely.
Justin Scott went on after Liam. After hearing that he was Friction, half of Friction and Spice, I was surprised by (a) his appearance and (b) his set. I expected "Friction" to be a scraggly, cracked-out skinny dude, but Justin was actually pretty clean cut, in a preppy sort of way. And I really enjoyed his set of grooving house. He provided a perfect backdrop for the hob-nobbing that was going on at the bar nearest the dj booth.
It was a veritable who's who of the Atlanta industry. The drinks were flowing. It was time to give thanks, right? I think everyone was just thankful they didn't have to get up and go to work the next day.
Patrick Scott was playing downstairs to a pretty happening crowd. I'm surprised I'd never really heard of him until I started going to Cobalt, especially since he's got some good tracks out. He's good, and I'm happy he's a resident at Cobalt. Hopefully having Patrick around will encourage them to continue sponsoring one-off nights with guests like Sandra.
When Sandra finally went on upstairs, everyone went wild. It was PACKED. I was amazed at how many people were there. I'm sure it had something to do with the holiday, but people were jammin' nonetheless. And Sandra was not about to disappoint. She laid down track after track of slammin' progressive and trance, all the while looking like she was having a ball. Sandra's enthusiasm for playing and interacting with the crowd is definitely something that makes her a treat to hear and see. She always has a smile on her face, and she always waves to her fans and claps her hands, dances about...it's so cute. I did hear someone remark that he was disappointed that we didn't get to hear more brand-new tracks, but that was coming from the mouth of a fellow dj and you know how they can be. A bit critical. ;)
And throughout the night, Kai Alce entertained the people chilling in the back bar (VIP) area. I don't think you really had to be all that important to get back there, but it was a nice place to take a break from all the action in the main room.
All in all, it was a fabulous night at Cobalt. It was definitely one of the best times I've had all year. It was great getting to relax in such a cool setting, listening to some incredible music, and meeting wonderful new people. There's something to be said about club nights. Massives are fun...but they're just so...massive. I really enjoy a slammin' night out without the long lines, body cavity search by security, and puke-covered toilet seats sometimes. And for those of you who aren't old enough to get into 21 and up clubs/bars yet...be patient. It will be worth the wait. And by the time you are old enough, you'll be ready for a night like this one, too. Trust me.
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