If you’re reading this I’m sorry. Because that means you’re not on the maiden voyage of Holy Ship! The frustration is mutual, and after a mere taste of the party on Thursday night I’m kicking myself in the face for missing out. Holy Ship! is setting the groundwork for an annual event that will haunt wishlists across the country. Thursday night alone was enough to keep one in bed well into Friday afternoon. Arriving with the crowd I noticed famed faces milling throughout the crowd. Destructo standing to the side finalizing plans for the helicopter to pick him up off the private island, Dillon Francis is sitting on the edge of the stage with Alvin Risk trying to convince some girls that he is Alvin and Alvin is actually Dillon Francis. Dave Nada is dancing in front of the stage. This cruise wasn’t just a performance, it was a party.
At 9pm sharp Destructo takes the main stage. He edged into his set cautiously since Revolution had yet to gather an assemblage. By mid-set the crowd was ripe for a good time and Destructo could sense it. Things took a turn for the best when he started to give us some aggressive scratches, dangling us over drops and looping us back up with sounds that choreographed the crowd into such an upswing. He’d cut the music to grab the mic for a moment asking, “Wait a minute, are we really going on a cruise tomorrow?!” Soon enough Dillon Francis is standing next to him edging into his set. This handsome lad is reppin his kittens-with-lazerbeams shirt (which he apparently gave away due to a state of inebriation) and pomade-assisted hair to a flawless degree. And just as he promised us on Twitter, he opens us with a steady stream of nu-disco tracks. It was a pool of enthusiasm and limb flailing throughout the room as he delivered his hit I.D.G.A.F.O.S. which has turned into a mantra of sorts for the Moombahton world. And as it climaxed to the point where it would normally retreat to a survivable level of excitement, he kept going. And it landed us right in the middle of Skrillex’s “Reptile” There’s only one thing that could top that. A pinata. Thank goodness Dillon brought a donkey pinata because this crowd was so frenzied it was ready to tear something limb from limb. Coming to the close of his set, for the safety of everyone involved, he had to slow it down. He transformed Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close” by noticeably dropping the bpm, slowing it down, and it was possibly the most touching song of the evening Next on the main stage was DJ Craze. By the time he had my full attention his set was midway through “King Kong.” I was wearing combat boots with good reason because it was ferocious in there. Craze is slapping the records back and forth, he’s scratching behind his back while spinning around, working the crowd into such an upheaval. As Craze lets loose with a version of “Thriller” a man rushes from the back and clears his way through the crowd to show us what he’s learned undoubtedly from hours of YouTube videos. Summing it together with a tireless looping of “All I Do Is Win” was enough to deduce that Craze is on point, as he just stood on stage smoking a cigarette un-phased by the anarchy that was ensuing as a direct reaction to his sounds. So thank you Craze. At the same time Dave Nada is over in the Green Room, and so is the house party. The stage is graced with a menagerie of chicks in panda hoods and sequin panties. The dance floor is so diverse: Stretching from couples salsa-ing, right next to a circle of men breakdancing, with a wiry little boy moonwalking through the entirety of the crowd. So many different genres it was as if they took all the iPods from every member of the Miss Universe pageant, loaded them to the brim with bass and then had a magician like Dave Nada laying the best upon the best. You start out writhing to some Daddy Yankee, and before you knew it you were dancing (and singing all the words) to Kreayshawn. And it would’ve been terribly embarrassing if it weren’t for the potent sense of camaraderie. Even some of the other DJs were getting in on the action. One girl grabbed a microphone and started singing. Like I said, the house party of house parties.
By now it’s past midnight, and it’s time to squeeze our way into a good spot for some Major Lazer. Out came Diplo. Bear in mind, I love Diplo (refer back to my first encounter with him at Dancegiving if necessary) but I was afraid that theatrically, there’d be something missing. Probably that little hormone-driven, banana-inspired-mohawked man that jumps off ladders and onto crowds. However, I don’t think anyone noticed. His set kicked off with its dancehall roots and which completely changed the perception of every track he played. Reincarnating Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” and somehow bending it into Beastie Boys “Intergalactic” should be observed as a national holiday. And if the music wasn’t enough, his dancers were two girls that had probably been on nothing but 4Loko infused directly into their veins for the past 3 days.
These girls were showcasing moves that would have the most brazen of strippers covering their eyes. One poor, or rather, ridiculously lucky man was situated onstage by his friend when, to his surprise, one of the dancers comes sprinting from across the stage, jumps onto him, knots her legs around his waist and throws herself backwards into some type of abstract handstand and proceeds to vibrate like a washing machine. This guy spilled his drink and had to fall onto the DJ booth to keep from tumbling over. This decadent dancing wasn’t limited to just those two girls. Apparently everyone was a little bit Jamaican there that night. Even fellow DJ’s that were posted up onstage had found a partner and were going at it. And when Diplo commented on how there were no girls on stage…well, then there were no girls left in the audience.
After a wave hello from A-Trak and Skrillex, who had been lounging backstage, Diplo started “Jump Around”, only to cut it off and tell us, “No no no, you have to jump around.” When he tried it again no two feet were on the ground and everyone was singing along. And so was Diplo, but with his own words he serenaded us, “Pack it up pack it in let me begin, I came to win battle me that’s a sin, I eat shark fin soup I never poop.” And what dissolved into laughter left us all endeared. As another DJ made his way to the stage I gathered my belongings and headed to my car only to meet stranded out-of-towners brought in for the cruise and miles away from their hotel. So the after party was in my car as we drove to their hotel before they left me behind for a weekend of insanity in the Carribean. It’s okay, there will be a next year.
We caught some footage of this wild evening, watch it here.