Combine a venue with a giant dance floor, a bangin' promoter for Atlanta and a legendary DJ and you have the ingredients for a party not to be forgotten. In fact, an entire night not to be forgotten. It was a big weekend for Atlanta and all the stops were pulled out for this October Saturday night. It was a hard choice for many people in the house and tech house world. Where would they go? Who to see? What So Not at The Masquerade, Nicolas Jaar at Terminal West or Sasha at the Expand Warehouse (aka Jungle)? I won't lie, I managed to hit two of these shows, along with an after hours. Luckily Terminal West is an early to open, early to close venue, much the opposite of Jungle, where the patrons typically queue up after the 11 o'clock hour.
First let me give you a little background. Liquified has been around a long time in Atlanta, for over 20 years. They started out throwing after hours parties, back when clubs like The Chamber and The Warehouse were alive and kicking. And one of the first DJ's they managed to book from those days was Sasha. At the time called Liquid Groove, Sasha's booking that night was a turning point for the promoter, and can be attributed to their long-term success throwing some of the biggest parties in Atlanta. Both Liquified and Sasha have witnessed the evolution of the electronic scene in Atlanta, and have been pushing boundaries while also embracing the changes all these years.
Fast forward to 2016 and enter Jungle, known as the Expand Warehouse when Liquified comes to play. Already a large venue comprised of two bars and then all dance floor, this venue holds quite the crowd. So you can imagine what a sold out show in a warehouse of 10,000 square feet of hot, dancing, sweaty patrons must look like. Sasha was back again in Atlanta and we were ready. Opening for him was a local artist Luis Valencia, often heard opening for some of Liquified's biggest shows, and never a disappointment for his patrons. With a kicked up set, the mood was set just right to get our groove on the right track for Sasha. From beginning to end, Sasha's set was a delightfully aggressive type of house that could not be pinpointed to one specific genre, nor did need to be. It almost made you feel like you were being scolded if you weren't out there dancing. But when you did dance you didn't have to try. It swept up your feet, your arms, your head, anything on your body that could move, did move. His set felt charged, exciting and dirty all at once. And as such it remained until closing, when the venue was no less packed as it had been during its peak hour.
In fact, the party was almost chaotic with just how much was going on. Groups of all different kinds of people were here, and it proved difficult to greet all the people I wanted to greet, as many of the patrons there I did not often see mixing. Perhaps this goes to show just how broad Sasha's breadth of music goes. Between the overwhelming amount of Atlanta's finest and the completely sick ass music, it was a wonder I was able to make it out of there in the same piece. If you were looking for a show that would at once knock the dancing shoes right off your feet, and yet release the people-loving social butterfly in you all at once, this was the show for you. Despite the packed out venue, there was no elbowing, throwing shade or territorial dance floor disputes that will on the occasion arise. There were only smiles, head bobs and this-music-too-good face grimaces to be shared on this night.
And with an after party put on by Liquified, the night did not end there. Though Sasha was most certainly the highlight, the after hours was charming in its own way. Far more intimate, in a small building standing alone down a dark road, the more chill but dark vibes kept us going like little energizer bunnies. Once there, I saw many of my dearest dance partners and enjoyed all the flailing/dancing room I could ask for. With beats from some local DJs and chats with both well-acquainted and more newly acquainted folks, the atmosphere was a good way to end the now morning. The next day, after two parties and an after hours, one of which being Sasha, it is safe to say I was not so bouncy as per usual. After witnessing a DJ whose mixing, crowd reading, and boundary pushing is unparalleled, it was no wonder all my energy needed a little recharge after that night. A friend put it best, after witnessing my post-Sasha condition, "You got Sasha-ed".
Photos by Missy Stowell for Bullet Music