While Puffy and co. were chilling the Crystal for his party uptown, NY hipsters, bands, and other rock & rollers were heading to the Meatpacking District for the Fader Magazine's Lowlife Party at Milk Studios. The party started right at 9:30 with rock-leaning selections from main room DJ Stretch Armstrong. Partygoers entered and eagerly wandered around the maze-like space in awe with each roomís distinct dÈcor and ambience. The main room featured a low-rise stage, DJ booth and 3 bars complete with everything you need to get your party on. In lieu of Crystal were Fosters cans though.
The Realistics were the first artists on stage and, for the newly converted, they delivered some early rock & roll salvation, setting the tone for the night. As the spaced filled, the energy increased throughout the rooms. DJs Language, Metro Area and pioneer Arthur Baker dropped electro goodies in the Red/Brooklyn Room, which featured wall-sized projections of bands, shot in 8mm.
Second on the bill was Mos Def's newest project, Black Jack Johnson, who came to give the people exactly what they didn't expect: the rock. Named after the first African-American heavyweight champ, Mos Def's Black Jack Johnson came with a heavyweight pedigree, including members of Living Colour, P-Funk, and DC hardcore legends Bad Brains, and didn't disappoint. Bringing a set filled with an original mix of heavy riffs and a deep funky low end, intensity, rapid fire rhymes, and loads of attitude and swagger, BJJ proved themselves to be much more than simply Body Count 2002.
The Strokes have played New York a lot in recent weeks, headlining Radio City Music Hall and Irving Plaza with The White Stripes. It was in the cozy confines of Milk Studios where The Strokes seemed completely at ease. With a raging party in full effect, it seemed almost spontaneous when The Strokes got on stage around 1am. Both the audience and band seemed to have taken advantage of the open bar, creating a rock free-for-all as everyone packed into the main room. Brilliantly stumbling onstage, Julian with a mesh 100% Irish cap said hello to the crowd and instantly broke into ìSomeday.î The band sounded tight, raw and very self-assured as they ripped through their set of songs from Is This It as well as the now familiar new songs. The place was packed, hot and beer-soaked which created the perfect setting for a debaucherous set of dirty rock. Each band member has seemed to grow into their on-stage persona - from Nick and Nikolai's disinterested poses to Albert Hammond's manic assault on his guitar, the band had all the right moves and the room-filling sound to back it up.
While considered a post-party for the VMAís, the event seemed more like a gathering of the cool, hip and fun. Void of suits, attitudes and VIP mentality, Lowlife created a vibe that was both fashionable and fresh while down to earth and comfortable. Celebes like Moby, Outkast, The Hives, Johnny Knoxville, Pink and Kelly Osborne mingled about as if they were attending a high-school dance. Downtown and individual fashion ruled this night as well ñ lots of homemade/cut up t-shirts shirts, mesh hats, and low cut jeans.
Scoping out the party, you couldnít help but see people having a great time ñ dancing, hanging, drinking and eating pizza. It was one of those nights that you didnít want to end. As 4am rolled around and the parched partygoers dispersed, it was time to face to world and leave Lowlife behind. A new standard has now been set for ëafter partiesí.