Last Saturday's "Spooks in Space" party in Columbia, Mo., presented by St. Louis' Superstars of Love, was a goddamn epiphany, one of the best raves we've ever been to, a sensory overload of music, eye and brain candy; laser freakouts; and an overall generally positive vibe that left nearly all its revelers in a state of bliss. It's one thing to rent a space, sound and lighting systems and a few name DJs and charge a $20 cover (all of which the Superstars did). But to transform these ingredients into something magical takes immense talent and timing.
"Spooks in Space" was great. You walked into a room that was absolutely electric -- lights, lasers, manic strobing images shown at breakneck speed -- and immediately you're consumed. As the night moved on, Detroit techno DJ Carl Craig spread a warm fuzz over the crowd for two hours of intense, organic beats. When you walked into the other space, St. Louis DJ Tré was pumping out jungle as a huge hole collapsed in the middle of the room. A mosh pit? Not here. The only shoving was unintentional, quickly mended with a smile and an apology. Rather, in this space break-dancers and B-boys went robotic, doing headspins as the circle of spectators watched and applauded each dancer.
If you've never been in a space at 5 a.m., stone-cold sober (no alcohol at all here, though the Ecstasy was [apparently] flowing freely, judging from all the dazed souls sitting on the floor giving each other backrubs), watching 2,000 people in a state of euphoria dance their asses off -- not 2,000 people standing there kind of shaking their rump-a but really dancing to the amazing music Sandra Collins was churning out -- you haven't lived. Sounds like a stretch, sure. But to needle your way through a maze of people with heavenly gazes in their eyes and huge grins on their faces, well, that's something special. Something to remember the next time you're at a Mississippi Nights show with your feet planted in concrete and your ass immobile.
The best part: not one big problem to spoil the vibe. "There was one girl," says Superstar of Love David Alter, "who took off her top and pants and was running around the party kind of flipped-out. But I believe we got her out one of the exit doors." Sounds like at least one lady is taking our advice from a couple of weeks ago for more nudity at music gigs. Keep it comin'.
Send all local tapes, tips, discs and detritus to Radar Station, The Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.