by Alphaville Herald on 12/02/08 at 10:54 pm
by Sigmund Leominster
You probably know the situation. You’ve been partying hard – and “partying” is a verb I hate to use, let alone inflect – and want a change of pace. Chances are you spirit yourself away to a new location, possibly with you special friend or enormous posse in tow. However, visitors to The Rock might just find all they need in one location because this new venue has three distinct dance floors all in one place, and switching from head banging with Ozzy to slow dancing with you favorite squeeze is as simple as walking across a bridge. There is also something called the Tower, which is, as the name suggest, a series of platforms that take you higher and higher above the fray, each with a number of seats and pose balls to let you and your friends simply chill. And no “velvet rope” – the Tower is for everyone, not a select few.
The creative wünderkinder behind the venture are builder/designer Kali Dagostino and tech wizard Codex Binder. The dynamic duo officially started the party at noon on Saturday January 19th, doing their bit to ruffle the fur of PETA fanatics by wearing between them enough leather to deplete a small herd of cattle. But boy did they look good! Codex took the opportunity to make use of a special fashion accessory – a whip. That and his bursts of flame just to keep things heated.
I arrived just before the grand opening to find the party already underway on the Volcanic Rock floor. The invite had offered L$500 each to the sexiest leather-clad male and female rocker so not surprisingly the dance floor was almost mooing. But then again, there’s nothing wrong with a seething mass of hot avatars in tight leather bumping up against each other to the sound of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.”
The actual dance ball is not a ball but – surprise surprise – a huge spinning rock hovering above the ground. Clicking on it pops up more dances than Fox News has right-wing anchors. Air guitarists and Guitar Hero players will be pleased to know that one of them gives you the option to release your inner Clapton and jam across the floor with twenty other rock god wannabees. And yes, I did.
I spent the first five minutes being bombarded by a steady stream of “hi’s,” “hooowwlllzzz” and “arooga’s,” as well as dodging some topless guy who seemed to have an avatar control issue. Bumping into someone on a busy dance floor is a common enough accident, but to systematically bump into everyone takes skill and planning. And without wishing to seem unusually cruel, he needed to know that his “six-pack abs” were more of a “keg” and would have benefited from being wrapped in a shirt – leather or not.
So after finding a relatively safe space on the edges of the floor, far enough away from “Wandering Willy” to stop my bump alarm ringing like a telephone, I had a quick word with Kali to get her impression of how things were going.
“I’m proud of the build, proud it’s finished. We’ve a fantastic team and a great party. Glitches? None at all. Unbelievably smooth, but we’ve worked hard the last day or two to get it just right.”
I asked if the music selection was up to the DJ.
“Yes, and she’s good isn’t she. We will have her regularly.”
The DJ is Shaera Beck, spinning her streams from high above the floor, and doing her bit to ensure that no cow has died in vain. With low-waisted leather pants, double-belted sexy midriff, and a high-necked leather top, Shaera plays the music and the crowds. She joined SL on February 2007 and has been working as a DJ in SL for five months, but this gig was something of a milestone for her – the first time using a live mike. I wanted to know how she went about deciding on her musical set for this inaugural bash.
“They just said ‘rock’ So there is so much to choose from and it’s so wonderful to DJ because of that. I choose the first song, hear it, and then I choose another one that is matching to the end of the previous one.”
Building and running a club can be a Herculean labor of love and prims, but promoting the finished product is just as critical a component. Kali and Codex have been helped in this by the almost manically bubbly Monochrome Tomorrow, whose official title of “PA” scarcely does justice to her actual involvement. Marketing and promotion are a big part of her role, and she gets to “manage the part with the DJs and hosts,” with Shaera being one of her finds. There’s a wonderful word for describing what Mono is so good at – schmoozing. You don’t have to spend long with her to begin to feel that she should be added to your friends list.
Like all the people I talked to, she does what she does because she wants to have some fun. Sure the Rock has its share of stores tucked around the edges, and sure you can tip the DJs, the hosts and hostesses, but that in no way detracts from the delicious ambiance of the place. The assembled massed seemed to have had a hollerin’ ‘n’ hootin’ good time – even the dude with the bouncing belly.
And one last thing to check out while you’re there: The club is by the beach and there are opportunities to stroll with your partner and use the pose balls by the shore to spend some quality IM time. Let me know how that works out for you.