SFWEEKLY ARTICLE: MR. VEGAS DAZZLES AT SPICEY PROMOTIONS 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY

standin-on-head.jpg
Kahley Emerson
Dancefloor competition got a little heated at New Karibbean City Saturday night


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dancing-mr-vegas.jpg
Kahley Emerson

Curry goat -- and I like curry goat.

standin-on-head.jpg
Kahley Emerson
Dancefloor competition got a little heated at New Karibbean City Saturday night

Spicey Promotions Presents Mr. Vegas

New Karibbean City
October 1, 2011

Better than:

Curry goat -- and I like curry goat.


 

Better than:

Oakland and San Francisco, could two cities be so close yet feel so far? Separating the two is a treacherous stretch of water, one scary bridge, and a rapid transit system that shuts down at a rather inopportune time. Yet, despite geographic complications, there is a long tradition of trans-bay parties that strive to reconcile the Bay Area through the well-tested method of having a good time.

One part of that tradition is San Francisco-based dancehall promotions group Spicey Promotions. For the past decade, Spicey has been doing huge things for the Bay Area dancehall community with a radio show on 106.1 KMEL and regular parties in San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. Last Saturday marked its 10-year anniversary, and being as it's such a force, it goes without saying that Spicey would do it up right. In this case, that meant booking legendary dancehall singjay Mr. Vegas and throwing a wild party at Oakland's New Karibbean City. Interested in checking out what the Bay Area dancehall scene is like (and being a fan of Mr. Vegas), Kahley and I crossed the bridge into Oakland.


New Karibbean City is a unique venue. It's huge and warehouse-like, with high ceilings, tall windows, and period detailing from a bygone era. Giant paintings of Bob Marley dot the walls alongside Jamaican flags and a lion of Judah. Counterbalancing the island vibe is a clear view of Oakland's skyline with the Tribune Tower standing stage right.

DJ Young Fyah kicked off the night with a two-hour set that moved through dancehall, roots reggae, and (later) club rap. He played fast, like a hip-hop DJ, cutting in and out of his mixes with deft speed. He was on the mic the entire time, hyping the room with a quick and sharp patois. Later, an MC joined Fyah and brought the crowd to an early peak by maniacally toasting over Too $hort's "Drop the Whistle."

Speaking of the crowd, by 12 a.m. the place had almost completely filled. The room was made up of a diverse cast of characters that included dreadlocked Rastafarians, fashionably done up girls, a handful of hippies, some sharp suits, and a whole bunch of guys in oversized t-shirts. This was a dancing crowd, and the floor saw near-constant action all night.


Yet there were some hiccups. For instance, the DJ after Young Fyah lost his momentum by trying to move in a more conceptual direction. His adventures in dub were met with growing disdain from the crowd, which resulted in a rush of requests. An irate girl behind me yelled, "play a dance song!" Made of tougher stuff than most DJs, he found his composure, got on the mic, and redeemed himself by saying, "Right about now ... give it up for Mr. Vegas! Show some respect for Mr. Vegas!" From there he went into a mini-set of surefire dancehall cuts that packed the dance floor tight.

 

Filled up wall-to-wall and hot as a sauna, Mr. Vegas took the room at 1:30 a.m. and set the evening ablaze. He got right into it with a sing-along to "She's a Hoe." People lost their minds. On my right, a Jamaican national had his hands in the air as he screamed out every word to every song. On my left, a couple was violently daggering -- doggystyle -- with the girl's hands propped on the stage right in front of Vegas' feet.


In and out with the flick of a hand, Vegas signaled when he wanted a beat, often laying a beautiful and unaccompanied acappella on the room. This was used to great effect when halfway through, he honored Bob Marley by doing an impromptu cover of "Buffalo Soldier." There wasn't a person in the room that wasn't singing.

 

From there, he brought it back to the present by doing "Hot Wuk." Undoubtedly the evening's peak, he hosted a dance-off between three beautiful and unbelievably capable girls. Fighting one another in dance, they stole the show. At one point a girl was standing on her head, at another doing the splits, then later one of them jumped a surprised Vegas and started daggering him.

Vegas went on for quite a bit longer. One of his last tracks was the uplifting and devotional "I am Blessed." It was an apt tune considering the evening was his birthday. At the end of the night, someone brought out a cake with candles. Visibly touched, Vegas gave thanks to a small list of people, waved out the flames, and jumped off the stage.


On our way out the door I heard someone get on the mic and say, "Come get some cake, cake on the house for everybody! That's just the way Mr. Vegas rolls!"

 

Check out more of Kahley Avalon Emerson's photos from the party here.

----
Lost in the Night is a column that follows the adventures of former promoter Derek Opperman as he reviews the shifting world of San Francisco nightlife. If you have a party that you would like covered, email derekoppermansf@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Derek Opperman @DerrickLove, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

Birthday-mr-vegas.jpg
Kahley Emerson

onstage-mr-vegas.jpg
Kahley Emerson


 

Oakland and San Francisco, could two cities be so close yet feel so far? Separating the two is a treacherous stretch of water, one scary bridge, and a rapid transit system that shuts down at a rather inopportune time. Yet, despite geographic complications, there is a long tradition of trans-bay parties that strive to reconcile the Bay Area through the well-tested method of having a good time.

One part of that tradition is San Francisco-based dancehall promotions group Spicey Promotions. For the past decade, Spicey has been doing huge things for the Bay Area dancehall community with a radio show on 106.1 KMEL and regular parties in San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. Last Saturday marked its 10-year anniversary, and being as it's such a force, it goes without saying that Spicey would do it up right. In this case, that meant booking legendary dancehall singjay Mr. Vegas and throwing a wild party at Oakland's New Karibbean City. Interested in checking out what the Bay Area dancehall scene is like (and being a fan of Mr. Vegas), Kahley and I crossed the bridge into Oakland.


New Karibbean City is a unique venue. It's huge and warehouse-like, with high ceilings, tall windows, and period detailing from a bygone era. Giant paintings of Bob Marley dot the walls alongside Jamaican flags and a lion of Judah. Counterbalancing the island vibe is a clear view of Oakland's skyline with the Tribune Tower standing stage right.

DJ Young Fyah kicked off the night with a two-hour set that moved through dancehall, roots reggae, and (later) club rap. He played fast, like a hip-hop DJ, cutting in and out of his mixes with deft speed. He was on the mic the entire time, hyping the room with a quick and sharp patois. Later, an MC joined Fyah and brought the crowd to an early peak by maniacally toasting over Too $hort's "Drop the Whistle."

Speaking of the crowd, by 12 a.m. the place had almost completely filled. The room was made up of a diverse cast of characters that included dreadlocked Rastafarians, fashionably done up girls, a handful of hippies, some sharp suits, and a whole bunch of guys in oversized t-shirts. This was a dancing crowd, and the floor saw near-constant action all night.

dancing-mr-vegas.jpg
Kahley Emerson

Yet there were some hiccups. For instance, the DJ after Young Fyah lost his momentum by trying to move in a more conceptual direction. His adventures in dub were met with growing disdain from the crowd, which resulted in a rush of requests. An irate girl behind me yelled, "play a dance song!" Made of tougher stuff than most DJs, he found his composure, got on the mic, and redeemed himself by saying, "Right about now ... give it up for Mr. Vegas! Show some respect for Mr. Vegas!" From there he went into a mini-set of surefire dancehall cuts that packed the dance floor tight.

 

Filled up wall-to-wall and hot as a sauna, Mr. Vegas took the room at 1:30 a.m. and set the evening ablaze. He got right into it with a sing-along to "She's a Hoe." People lost their minds. On my right, a Jamaican national had his hands in the air as he screamed out every word to every song. On my left, a couple was violently daggering -- doggystyle -- with the girl's hands propped on the stage right in front of Vegas' feet.

onstage-mr-vegas.jpg
Kahley Emerson

In and out with the flick of a hand, Vegas signaled when he wanted a beat, often laying a beautiful and unaccompanied acappella on the room. This was used to great effect when halfway through, he honored Bob Marley by doing an impromptu cover of "Buffalo Soldier." There wasn't a person in the room that wasn't singing.

 

From there, he brought it back to the present by doing "Hot Wuk." Undoubtedly the evening's peak, he hosted a dance-off between three beautiful and unbelievably capable girls. Fighting one another in dance, they stole the show. At one point a girl was standing on her head, at another doing the splits, then later one of them jumped a surprised Vegas and started daggering him.

Vegas went on for quite a bit longer. One of his last tracks was the uplifting and devotional "I am Blessed." It was an apt tune considering the evening was his birthday. At the end of the night, someone brought out a cake with candles. Visibly touched, Vegas gave thanks to a small list of people, waved out the flames, and jumped off the stage.

Birthday-mr-vegas.jpg
Kahley Emerson

On our way out the door I heard someone get on the mic and say, "Come get some cake, cake on the house for everybody! That's just the way Mr. Vegas rolls!"

 

Check out more of Kahley Avalon Emerson's photos from the party here.

----
Lost in the Night is a column that follows the adventures of former promoter Derek Opperman as he reviews the shifting world of San Francisco nightlife. If you have a party that you would like covered, email derekoppermansf@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Derek Opperman @DerrickLove, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

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