Photo: Wythe Hotel
What made this weekend’s opening of the new Williamsburg club, Output, so interesting wasn’t that Brooklyn’s been waiting for it — it’s that all of New York City has been waiting for it.City music freaks have been talking about a new club in Williamsburg since this summer. Of course, at that time it had no name, and was only described in details. The word was that the club would be large (a 452-person capacity is big by NYC standards) and music/sound oriented — no bottles, no doormen, no nonsense.
There would be no fist pumping either. Electro yes, fist pumping no.
After months of waiting, Output finally opened its doors this weekend.
The club sits on Wythe Avenue next to another monument to Williamsburg’s ascendancy, the Wythe Hotel. On Saturday night, when the wisest partiers showed up to stand in line at an ungodly hour (10:30?!!!? No one goes out in NYC til 12:00), it seemed like that one block’s transformation was complete. Output showed that Williamsburg was no longer an outpost.
In a word, the place was loud — loud because of an incredible sound system in an incredible space, loud because of the insane lights, and loud because what was billed as a $30 party ended up being free with an open bar that lasted all night long.
It may have seemed even louder because everything was new and the ceilings were high. From the second floor looking down, everyone on the dance floor looked like a swarm of moths fluttering toward the flaming wall of light behind the DJ booth.
There was no hassle at the door. This is an important thing to many New Yorkers, and this is what many of them have been waiting to see at a proper, large-scale club. Before the financial crisis hit and every kind of discretionary spending in town was squeezed, doors were everything. Either look fabulous or buy a bottle, those were a party-goer’s choices. All that mattered to many clubs, was paying Manhattan rents and playing music that everyone liked. Club goers had shown up, after all, mostly to be seen.
You do not go to Output to be seen. You go to dance. Some of New York’s nightlife scene moved that way during the recession when everything went bust, and that’s how many people want it to stay.
That’s why the the bouncers at Output don’t care what you’re wearing. That’s why there were no pictures or hip magazines to cover the opening. The only coverage we saw was from Williamsburg Blogs, where not everyone was pleased.
Here’s one less than thrilled tweet:
OK, fair enough. Thing is, Output admits it’s not for everyone, especially not for people who care how plush a club is. Here’s how they put it on the event page for Saturday night’s soiree on party networking site, Resident Advisor:
Output is open to anyone, but is not for everyone. Output welcomes individuals who value the communal experience of music over cameras, ropes, and bottles.
For more proof of this attitude you need only look at their Saturday night line up. First up was Justin Strauss, an NYC dance scene veteran who’s made remixes for Tina Turner and played at clubs since the 1980s; Benoit and Sergio, a DJ duo that splits time between Washington DC and Berlin; Mike Simonetti, fresh off an epic birthday party at The Standard Hotel’s club, Le Bain, last week; and Justin Miller, a musician who manages to straddle being an uber hip Fashion Week face while also starting an underground house label called ‘Have A Killer Time.’
None of those DJs, or any of the DJs you’re likely to see at Output, are from the Tiesto/Swedish House Mafia crowd. Most have a particularly Brooklyn flavour. They play for the same partiers that Output is catering to — hardcore dancers, French people, music nerds, Australian tourists from Melbourne, German tourists from Berlin, hipsters that like to shake it, recovering 90s club rats, kids that never want to hear the same thing twice, and anyone who got really into LCD Soundsystem.
There are a lot of those people in New York City, and they’ve been waiting for Output. If you’re one of them, head over. If you’re not, don’t. If you’re curious, feel free… it’s not like anyone will care what you look like or anything.
Oh, and a little before 3:00 a.m., everyone went absolutely nuts to this:
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