The bells hadn't yet tolled 8 p.m. and there were more than a handful of cliques lingering outside the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in anticipation of the yearly Steel Lounge Underground raw bash, the rave that ups the museum's street cred.
Answering the call to party was a mob of more than 2,100. The line wrapped around the corner past The Jung Center, some having to wait as long as an hour to join the carouse. Thankfully, Bernie's Burger Bus was on the scene; no doubt the food truck made a killing.
The promise of CAMH morphing into an after hours club thump-thumping with experimental tunes by a lineup of local DJs enticed a mishmash of denizens, from fashionistas who wouldn't be caught dead in anything off the rack to Gen Y-ers in shorts and graphic v-necks.
Answering the call to party was a mob of more than 2,100. The line wrapped around the corner past The Jung Center, some having to wait as long as one hour to join the carouse.
In gathering Suraj K. of Gritsy, Esteban Torres of Soular Grooves and DJ Baby Jae as the entertainment, party presenters Derek Jones and Josh Zulu took advantage of the atypical setting to meddle with guests' expectations.
The talent moved away from spinning Top 40 hits and opted for avant-garde dubstep, trance and house that dialogued with video projections by Pablo Gimenez Zapiola, who juxtaposed poetry atop quickly moving footage of inner-city Houston, London, Paris, Italy and Buenos Aires.
While b-boys and b-girls tore up the dance floor taking turns showing off breakbeat moves, others imbibed Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. suds; among the sips was a Belgian Wit cocktail fused with blood oranges nodding to the date, Friday the 13th.
All that plus the bar was kept in the basement, leaving the main gallery more hushed for those taking in the curatorial debut of CAMH's Dean Daderko in It Is What It Is. Or Is It?
Beating up the beat were Lynn Lane, Tina Zulu, Grace Rodriguez, Andrew Karnavas, John Bradshaw Jr., GONZO247 and Carolyn Figueroa, Jennifer Ford, Darryl Sharpt, Oscar Valverde, Yeoshina Pillay, Justin Bantga, Lane Smolen, Emily Middleton, Jonathan Jardin, David Nguyen, Chris Nguyen, Umi Grigsby, Byron Garner, Lynn Birdwell, Bita Forotan, David Carter, Kocayne Givner, Jeremy Walker, Rick Zepeda and Mallory Hawley among countless others.