Waukegan, Illinois, the supposed birthplace of superhero Johnny Blaze from Marvel’s Ghost Rider and Pandemonium NYE. It is no SnowGlobe or Decadence. There’s no Porter Robinson or ZEDD. Instead, A Long Nite Production, Brew City Bass and Electrified Entertainment’s intimate affair sported a stacked lineup: Black Tiger Sex Machine, YOOKiE, Delta Heavy and Sullivan King.
My buddy Aubrey and I drove 45 minutes until we made a u-ey into “Lakehurst Banquets.” Even above my noisey car heater, RCKT PWR’s “Love4U” escaped through the warehouse. Once it was determined that the both of us were staff/media/VIP, even though our names were nowhere to be found on any list, we were gifted two raffle tickets for coat check, one panda hat pin, an official Pandemonium NYE lanyard and a small rose quartz crystal for good measure.
I scoped out the desolate dance floor, level with the main stage, eyeing vendors for impulse buys; mermaid green, two-way sequins adorned a $50 hooded cape draped around my exposed clavicles. Room three’s deafening subwoofer wall baited ’90s raver fashion, visors and all. Observing DnB brits Delta Heavy perform “Paradise Lost” live was quite powerful, so much so that my bathroom stall unlocked. Delta Heavy’s act was only comparable to an earthquake aftershock.
As the clock neared midnight, Kannibalen Records‘ headbanger heartthrob Sullivan King executed his rework of “Kickout The Epic Motherf**ker” by Dada Life. King commanded the audience’s attention with an electric guitar strumming rendition of Snails’ banger “King Is Back (Ft. Big Ali).” Once 2018 hit, flags arose, “The Virus – Intro” commenced and Black Tiger Sex Machine appeared.
Topsy-turvy crosses, lucent skulls and religious imagery materialized throughout BTSM’s interactive set. Churchgoers flooded in the venue and congregated around a pulpit that band members Patrick Barry, Marc-André Chagnon and Julien Maranda stood atop. Their Sunday sermon? Kai Wachi’s “Demons (BTSM Remix),” “Face Down feat. Panther,” and “Lions” with YOOKiE.