It was quite a shock stepping into Cream Stereo Lounge in Scottsdale last night, and not because there weren't any VIP hostesses pestering me about getting bottle service. Truth be told, there was a decidedly un-Scottsdale aura flowing through the joint as Joe DiPadova brought his popular "ONE" dance night into the land of $30K millionaires and boob jobs.
Since its creation as a weekly gathering back in 2005 (when it was known as StraighNoChaser), the funky house night has been more of a Tempe or Phoenix kinda gig, dominating venues like bygone Mill Avenue spot The Loft and boasting a soulful mix of art, music, and culture you don't usually see in Old Town outside of a SMoCA night.
Indeed, I saw many peeps busting a move at Cream that I normally wouldn't expect to encounter at the upscale danceteria, such as shabby chic musicians, thrift store hipsters, and tie dye-clad hippie chicks amongst the 200-plus who turned out for the event. It was a different kinda crowd for a different kinda night. (Sure, there were a few of the sideway cap-wearing Ed Hardy clones in the house as well, but they were in the minority, for once). That's kind of ONE's raison d'etre, as the night aims to brings together folks from disparate backgrounds
Scottsdale club night's normally have a frenetic air of sweaty, Axe body spray-scented desperation and affectation, filled with posturing urbanites engaged in a battle for social supremacy. GiantONE was a complete departure, where the clothes on your back mattered about as much as the content of your wallet. For once I didn't feel the need to bust out with my normal clubgoing costume of a shiny shirt or designer jeans and felt comfortable in just a tee shirt and camie shorts. No one seemed to notice that I was dressed in an outfit fit for a backyard barbecue and seemed to be concentrating on the music instead.
JonnY Rogers go the flow going slowly and smoothly with a combo of downtempo tracks, before ratcheting things up with indie disco and electro-pop ranging from Ralph Meyers to Tortured Souls. DJ Brazilia then took over on the record decks, living up to her DJ name with a soundtrack of Brazilian and other world music jams that got people doing a conga line at one point. DiPadova followed up with a two-hour of energetic deep house music that pumped bassy beats until Cream's management turned on the lights at 2 a.m.
Music is just one part of the ONE experience, however, as the night included accompaniment that delved into the aural, visual, and corporeal realms. While one of DiPadova's buds sat near the DJ booth cueing up some video that played over the club's plasma TV screens and complimented the sounds coming from the speakers, saxophonist Shea Marhsall and trumpeter Steve Limpert accentuated things even further with bleats and wailings that were perfectly timed to the beats. Painter Banding Hendrix was also on hand to provide some live artwork.
Wanna experience it for yourself? DiPadova says the next GiantONE is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9.
Last Night: GiantONE at Cream Stereo Lounge in Scottsdale.
Better Than: Getting bounced around at a typically packed Scottsdale club night.
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Personal Bias: Joe DiPadova was one of the first DJs I ever interviewed for Phoenix New Times.
Random Fact: Limpert and Marshall Rickroll'd clubgoers late in the evening, playing the chorus of "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Further Listening: DiPadova's "resonation001" hour-long house mix, which you can download here (109 MB).
By the Way: One chickadee over in the VIP booths decided to drop her top at one point, showing off her surgery-enhanced massive mammaries to anyone and everyone until her friends (or Cream's employees) made her cover up. The word from a few others in attendance was that there may have been some far more licentious acts taking place as well.