4sho Productions brought back the ninth installment in St. Louis' longest running EDM (electronic dance music) event, and sought to raise the bar that they've continually set higher and higher each year. This year's event featured a new venue, some of the wildest costumes in town and 15 performances including veteran superstars, the Crystal Method.
Starting in the ghost-town warehouses of the primordial scene, Booty Halloween has progressed through a list of increasingly large and refined locations, including breaking in the highly appreciated Koken Art Factory in its earliest days. For 2012, the party has moved up to the historic Scottish Rite, which offered more than enough ample space for three rooms of performances, three bars and the comfort of a safe, adjoining parking garage. The only flaw in the set-up was the single stairwell, which remained frustratingly overcrowded throughout the night.
Each room was given its own "weird"-themed name, as well as a unique stage and set-up. The main room featured the "Insane in the Membrane Stage," and was inarguably the largest space and most elaborate set-up. The room itself was vast and constantly filled with an endless sea of bass-faced enthusiasts, eager to see St. Louis favorites, Stan Doublin, Miss J v.s. Shawn Harvick and Cypher and of course the headlining acts, the Crystal Method and Figure.
A raised stage featured a large, four-panel video/light display behind the DJ tables. The floors shook continually as the Crystal Method mixed their own tracks and remixes with a deep range of outside tracks, proving to be veteran DJs as well as monumental producers. The room finished with Figure, who opened with a spooky narration and then pummeled the crowd with the hardest and most thoroughly dub-step set of the night.
The second room, dubbed the "Bird is the Weird Stage," focused on hardcore alternative earlier in the evening. A line-up of Jon Gotti, DJ Excell and Beau LeMaster vs. David Fields opened the evening before housing the costume contest. As the intensity grew on the main stage, the second room became an escape for those needing a slight break. NYC's Dara played a long set before electrical problems created a small issue. In what turned out to be a serendipitous solution, Claude VonStroke finished the night in an almost entirely dark room, with minimal lighting on the stage itself and a swirl of glowing toys in the still-dense crowd.
The "Very Weird People" room featured the third bar and plenty of chairs and tables to relax for those willing to pay just a little extra. It offered a line-up of staple performers in the St. Louis local scene, and continually filled up as the night went on. Each room offered its own flavor and flow to the evening, and the event lived up to the expectations of even the most experienced partygoer.
All photos by Wil Wander.