Confession of the day, I thought it was going to be DJ Vibe, instead I learned before leaving my house that Martijn Ten Velden, Bear and Hex Hector were the invited DJs for the night. I might have arrived at the end of Bear' set, and if I'm not mistaken he might have taken turns with Hector at the decks, but mainly I heard Hector on Sunday morning, and please understand whatever you will read is entirely my personal view.
It was kind of weird and exciting to walk up those stairs again, and my eyes wandered everywhere trying to capture everything that has changed, and I must say , everything changed. Someone actually wrote somewhere that this was like Stereo of the future, and I must say it is right on statement.
The lower level has been transformed into this transition area, where you can actually relax and chill out, while either waiting for your friends to come out of the futuristic looking toilets, or just gathering your strength to continue or to start dancing. Red sofas and a metallic wall hiding very industrial looking bathrooms, and don't forget to hit those faucets - it took me a while to guess what to do in order to get water out of those things. This area is still under work, and it is a major improvement compared to the past. Nice touch to keep incense burning in the area during the night.
The final set of those famous stairs that lead you to the dance floor, are made of this beautiful wood that just take your breath away. Suggestion to Stereo, it would be a good idea to add low lights underneath the first step from the top to the bottom, think airplanes landing smoothly instead of crash landing, this would give an idea to the people where the stairs actually begin.
Walking up and you see this monster speaker that looks like the back of Megatron (Transformers), and if you look closely at the shining metal frame in the middle, the reflection of one of those vaguely looking red crosses on the ceiling, is reflected on it, given the impression that you are walking up towards an altar, talk about temple of music.
Those red "crosses" can be found in the lower level and in the what used to be the bar and DJ deck upstairs. The place is just beautiful, I must admit it took me sometime to get used to my new home, and although I will miss the underground feeling of the old Stereo, I like the futuristic look of the new one.
The dance floor is just beautiful, if before was nice now is divine, and I understand why the no chewing gum policy, and people if you smuggle chewing gum in, make sure to dispose it in the appropriate place.
The dance floors looks bigger, with two giants screens placed in the left and right walls, having the elevated DJ deck located right in the middle of the back wall, where the old dance stage used to be located. The new DJ deck must be beautiful, but it has lost some of the intimate feeling the old one used to have, plus I believe the DJ is only able to see half of the dance floor. The VIP area is located right beside the decks, behind a glass wall, thinking about it, maybe a glass wall should be in front of the decks as well.
The sound is just crystal clear, and I probably danced almost all morning in front of Megatron and left the place with no ringing ears, which tells you something. I must say I wish the disco ball was not so high up, but again if they lower it will probably get in the middle of the view of the DJ, Stereo can we compromise here? I would love to have the disco ball closer to the ground, and bringing dancers with mini disco balls attached to their arms won't do it.
If you look at the back, what used to be the front before, there are two stairs that leads you to the third level of Stereo (VIP and decks are the fourth power), where the bar is now located and some deserved seating for the hard working dancers of the night. Red is the colour of the moment, and I really like those "red crosses" in the ceiling. Forgot to mention, the smokers were raving about their new mini hall that takes them to the new old smoking stylish area, didn't go there so don't know what to tell you but I will take their world on it.
Enough about the place? Then lets go to the people. The magic line of straight and gay is still present, but because now the dance floor is not square but more like a rectangle, the lines are much more blurred, nevertheless the right is still more gay an shirtless and the left much more straight and covered. There were many old faces, and surprisingly many first timers. Some Stereoheads have gone into retirement and will come out only once in a while, and this is why I ask the Stereo alumni that when present to the temple, please make sure to transmit the Stereo vibe in its best form so they can learn and pass it along to the others.
This was the third weekend since the grand reopening, and even though I missed half of the party, I can tell you the energy and vibe was there to make this party a night to remember. Unfortunately I felt as if Hex Hector did not give his best music wise, I know he is capable of more, and I love the fact he played this great tribal sounds, and he made me nostalgic with some great tunes from the past, but I also was expecting something fresh and harder, because the energy of the dancers was there to be used and abused. I must admit he improved dramatically by the end of the "night" but perhaps he should had hit those notes earlier on. Loved the Latin beats that actually made me sweat like crazy, and loved the build ups Hector gave us, but I think the energy was there to be kept high for a longer period of time compared to what he gave us.
I was expecting more music wise from the third Saturdays at Stereo, and please take note I'm not saying the music was bad, but it could had been better, said that I really enjoyed my evening at the temple, and there is no way to tell you how I felt about going back home, and this home is a grown up one, one with more experience and probably one that will start taking more risks.
The staff was fantastic, new faces, new place, new home, but with the same concept, it doesn't matter if you are black or white, gay or straight, men or women, fat or fit, ugly or beautiful, we are all there under the super high located disco ball to have fun and to dance until the lights come on and when they tell us it is time to go home. In Berlin when I visited Berghain & Panorama bar they told me "don't forget to go home", but at Stereo "we are at home".
Left at 10:30am