The last time we saw Claude VonStroke was at Spring Awakening in Chicago last year. His set was a highlight of a stellar side stage, peppered with talent that was rare to see under one roof. When we saw that he was headed to Houston, it was a serious no-brainer. Yes, we would like to dance our asses off. Sold!
As always, we arrived fashionably late (aka: old lady nap ran over) to Stereo Live. Hooray, a comfortably packed dance floor! Hooray, happy openers that are having a serious ball! The good vibes were thicker than traffic at 5pm. We were ready.
Claude himself was there every inch of his set. He bounced with us, and moved his body with the musical roller coaster. We love it when a DJ takes his or her time to thoroughly mix each track. This was an evening of no cut-overs, just funky, thoughtful mixing. As we scooted to the front, we ran into old friends and DJs who remarked that the only way this set could be improved was if it were done on vinyl. Vinyl or not, this set was FIRE!
We were treated to some pretty serious highlights of his career, including The Rain Break, Make a Cake, and Mind Yo Bizness (with Green Velvet). However, as far as the rest of his set? The atmosphere? We’re not going to lie here… we danced so hard and for so long that we didn’t take any notes. Despite the occasional break to grab more water from the bar, and bathroom break, we didn’t leave the crowd. We spotted a dozen or more Dirtybird shirts and hats, and one enthusiastically waved Dirtybird flag off the second story balcony, but our focus that night was losing ourselves on the dance floor. And lose it we did. By the end of the night, the notoriously sticky floor was damp enough to cut through the stick, presumably from happily spilled beverages and a good ol’ fashioned sheen of booty sweat. This was gloriously serious moment on the dance floor, where we had no choice but to bow to the command of the evening’s bearded maestro.
When we left for the evening, just through the end of what we could only assume was the last song (it was closing time) and we stepped outside, we realized how incredibly sweaty we had all become. You could have mopped a floor with any of our hair at this point. We seriously couldn’t think of an inch of clothing that was in any fashion not thoroughly soaked. We could give zero fucks, because we earned every bit of that squish. Heck yea!
Pros: Friendly crowd, ample room to dance furiously without punching your neighbor, but still packed enough to keep the vibe high. Insane technique and track selection.
Cons: The ridiculously long wait for a drink outside. We waited for 20 minutes with friends, went inside and got everyone’s drinks, and came back and they were just being helped. Come on, Stereo. Fix your staffing.