New Year’s Eve 2012
2011 was a great year, you might even say it was the best year yet, by far. ”But Red, don’t you say that every year?” Maybe. In 2011 I turned 21, and set about on my biggest adventures yet. I took all the momentum from my first winter in Aspen and rode it straight into Summer on Nantucket, which quickly became nothing less than an emblem of what is possible with a a few good ideas, very little caution and a whole bunch of wind. And still that was only the beginning, then came the Autumn University Tour, the JW Seasonnaires biggest adventure to date along with every ounce of social, professional, and experimental clarity that came with it. Toward the end of the Uni Tour I began to have this revelation, that when it really comes down to it, we can do anything we want. 2011 was my best yet. But 2012 is younger, hotter and has bigger plans. This world is yours for the taking, so why not start now?
It was not long ago that I met the gentleman to whom I owe this blog. It was the morning of the Aspen Snow Polo and we had gathered a suitably vivacious crew for the bottomless mimosa breakfast at BB’s, generally speaking a failsafe plan, depending on your objective. It was early in the morning and I was being crucially overwhelmed as the only boy at my table, surrounded by a fierce matriarchy of mimosa guzzling snow bunnies, I look around in desperation hoping for something, any kind of respite. Jason the safa waiter wasn’t much help, so I spot a lone man cradling his breakfast at the adjacent table and for a second our eyes lock, I move to open my mouth but the girls have already spotted him (this is why we love them). Before you know it Chris Dodds was a welcome guest at our table, getting ready to move from Boulder to Aspen it made perfect sense to be plunged into a social scene and if I may say so myself the kid held his own, straight off the bat. True to form, reflecting the blasé nature of our viewing party we showed up just as the Snow Polo was ending, I don’t even know who won. So instead we had a hot tub party, you wish I’d show you the pictures. So I missed the Polo completely but my new friend Chris Dodds, in some gloriously disproportionate act of consolation, offered me a ticket to see Pretty Lights play New Year’s Eve in Boulder. A brand new adventure to usher in a brand new year? Sign me up.
- 4:00pm – 1 week later it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m standing outside Denver International Airport. Thanks to 100mph winds across the whole range, every single chairlift in Aspen Snowmass had been delayed opening until noon that day, I found it charmed that environmental circumstance had conspired in my favour, ski school had been cancelled that morning, a fine job considering I was half way to Denver with the gusts safely at my coat tails. I may have been the only person in the whole resort who actually left Aspen for NYE. But I had a plan. Chris Dodds rolls up and immediately the games start, we tour around Denver picking up friends and racing phone calls between DU and Boulder crews in a bid to see who could bring more fire to the party. Eventually the laps are done and we arrive back at the Dodds set in Boulder. Suffice to say every cell in my body wants to rest after the insane back to back ski school / bar work double shifts of Christmas peak period, but if there’s anything I learned on tour, it is that sometimes you just have to man up and rest later. Sleep is for the weak – Amen.
- 7:00pm – Now I have spent a lot of time around DU kids, and they definitely know what they’re doing. But I was stoked to experience some Boulder, it has a reputation after all, and physics dictates there’s no smoke without fire. Sure enough within the hour the house was packed with some of the funnest Colorado kids I’ve met and they all shared one common denominator, every last one of them was ready to get out of their mind for New Year’s Eve. I started to see Chris in his natural environment, once again I was the only brit in the place and my link was just one man, only he was the host. The more I answered the obvious first question
“What’s with the panda outfit?” “So how do you know Chris?”, the more I gathered about who exactly this boy was. It seemed like every girl in the room had some knightly story of chivalry, or some suave medal of honour to pin on his chest. It get’s to the point where I’m like “Who is this guy?” Some sort of 22 year old James Bond who wears New Era and goes to electro shows. Then he comes through to the bedroom where I’m tightening up my pink leg warmers and is all like “Hey Panda, taxi’s here.” And I’m all like “Yea whatever.” but only in my head, and then I bounce outside and awaiting my arrival, like Apollo’s chariot, is a long black stretched limousine, complete with driver and a row of grinning-ass Boulder kids. Chris just smiles calmly and is like “So, are you ready?”… Put it this way, if I was a girl panda I would have been on that. But I’m not, so I’ve just got all these confused feelings in my tummy, mixed with alcohol and licorice all sorts, but this was no time to be pondering such trivial essence so I’ll just chalk it down to a man crush and keep moving.
- 8:00pm – Into the limo with foolish cries of “Drive it like your stole it!”, turns out our driver was actually the son of a Formula 3 champ, at times I genuinely wondered whether gravity should allow a limousine to perform such maneuvers, but it made a fresh accompaniment to heavy, heavy electronic soundtrack of the party inside. To the colosseum we rode and victorious we arrived. Stepping out into the crisp cold air I allowed myself to get truly excited, the arena was huge and the air was electric, as if by fate I had spent all of last winter riding to Pretty Lights NYE 2011 set, and right here at the hand of a new friend who is fast becoming a brother, I was about to experience the full effect.
- 11:00pm – Make no mistake that one of the things I am most excited for this new year is the music. 2011 hailed such diverse movement forward in electronics and so much progression across the board, it goes without saying, I cannot WAIT to hear what 2012 will bring. But this is as far as the story goes, the Panda was in, surrounded on all sides by an army of revealers the likes of which have never been seen, with fire in their eyes and the taste of a new year on their tongue, we ducked and dived and dodged until we were front and centre of the whole arena, then we danced, and danced, and danced. And the rest, quite literally, is history.
Well, almost history. The very next morning Chris and I rounded up the finest of the NYE army and wrecked it all the way back to Aspen. Another Panda was born and on January 1st we saw Flux Pavilion bring it home at Belly Up, then we slid over to Snowmass to attend a private DJ Battle at The White Room until the very early hours, but that’s another story. That and, you’ll never guess who I found in Aspen…