NYO 2012 Year In Review
It’s time to recap another fantastic year for Nak You Out and covering parties here in Pittsburgh. We’ve been doing this for two years now and feel that our fine city is finally getting the recognition it deserves in terms of being not only a great place to live – but a lively destination for travelers and transplants who are seeking an affordable cost of living, bangin’ nightlife and an enviable job climate. With recent accolades from The Today Show, declaring the city a top 2013 travel destination, to CNN’s mention of Pittsburgh in their list of the World’s Most Livable Cities, others are starting to take notice. Join us as we relive what we already know: that Pittsburgh was a great place to live and party during 2012 and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Thanks again to all the promoters, venues, organizers and people that have made Pittsburgh such a great place to be up to this point. We look forward to covering the scene for many years to come. In no particular order, we present to you our list of favorite things from 2012.
In the Community
Pride in the Street: The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh has been throwing one hell of a Pride Fest for many years now, but 2012’s celebration was something special. From Melissa Ethridge’s record attendance to the march and all the vendors who came together to show their support for the LGBTQ community, Pittsburgh’s Pride celebration is quickly becoming one to watch amongst other Pride-having cities in the nation.
R.A.N.T.: Lawrenceville held its first Rock All Night Tour, a free 14-hour community music festival, at various locations throughout the neighborhood, encompassing multiple genres of local talent and countless performers. Organized by Lawrenceville residents DJ Zombo, Casey Hallas of the Rocking Horse Artspace and Mary Jo Coll, a local promoter and booker, in conjunction with Lawrenceville United, this event not only showcased what a great part of town Lawrenceville is to live, work and play, but what can be accomplished given the resources of a community.
Party at the Pier: Riverlife (formerly Riverlife Task Force) hosted a beautiful gathering at the Rivers Casino ampitheater for their annual benefit. The organization’s focus is to “reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts as the environmental, recreational, cultural and economic hub for the people of this region and our visitors.” This party perfectly showcased what a wonderful job they’re doing in terms of their mission, and the setting was nothing short of breathtaking. From the delicious hors d’oeuvres, to Gateway Clipper jaunts, to the neon-themed decor, this party was well executed from start to finish and is one to watch out for in 2013.
Parties of Note
Masque VI: Faded Industry Entertainment has been grindin’ on the party scene for as long as Nakturnal has and is known for their reputation as awesome party hosts. Their Masque VI bash at the newly-incarnated Cavo in the Strip District was the ideal setting for a bash that encourages attendees to don their best mask and masquerade as someone else for the evening. From the spectacular glass chandeliers to the intricate stonework, Cavo is a welcome addition to the Strip’s club scene. This was a party to be seen at, and from the looks of it, Pittsburgh is pretty damn hot.
Decentralized Dance Party: What started as individual Facebook event pages with over 50,000 confirmed attendees has trickled down to an itinerary of 10 locations across the country. Cities were selected based off of which could raise the initial 1K required via Kickstarter to pull each event off and Pittsburgh was worthy enough to be included in the tour. The folks behind the DDP provided simple instructions: show up at the starting location with a portable boombox, dress up in business attire to adhere to the “Strictly Business” theme, and prepare to dance around the city via the provided route. This event was the talk of the town for weeks after folks watched with envy as the Decentralized Dance partiers rocked it out all over town. We hope this event has the momentum needed to happen again for years to come!
Claude VonStroke at Hot Mass: Hot Mass is a new edition to the Pittsburgh party scene, providing those of us who like to stay up extra late with an awesome Saturday night option. What began as a series of minimal parties at an undisclosed bathhouse for LGBTQ friends and allies has grown into quite the affair. Many DJs in town for a gig stop by to extend their party spirits, but few have laid it down as hard as Claude VonStroke, whose recent set after his gig at Mr. Smalls left many of us buzzing for days after this epic night. Special thanks to the Hot Mass and Obvious crews for making this happen.
Our Favorite Venues:
Stage AE: In terms of outdoor concert venues, Stage AE provides a happy medium between trekking all the way to Burgettstown to First Niagara Pavilion and the now-defunct Station Square Amphitheater, which finally retired in 2012. Now that operator PromoWest Productions has set up shop in Pittsburgh, we’ve been able to enjoy shows that otherwise wouldn’t hit the market or would sell out quickly at smaller venues. Notable shows include Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse, Hall & Oates and Feist. Their indoor theater is also impressive, boasting some of the best sight lines in the city and allowing underagers to mingle with those of legal drinking age, making for a comfortable concert experience that doesn’t push you to the back if you want to drink. We’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us in 2013!
Mr. Smalls: Amidst rumors of closing, Mr. Smalls is still alive and well as we move into 2013. They’ve made some serious upgrades, too, adding a covered outdoor patio to their entry point and a 2nd floor patio that boosts their outdoor appeal. Their selection of gourmet hot dogs is quite creative and the perfect snack pre or post-show. We’ve seen some of our favorite concerts of the year here, which is why we found Smalls to be a must for this year’s list. They include The Weeknd, Beats Antique, Sleigh Bells, The Dirty Projecters, Beach House, Claude VonStroke and many more!
Shadow Lounge: 2012 brought to fruition the news that had been circulating around the city that no one wanted to believe. The Shadow Lounge will be closing its doors on S. Highland Avenue in spring of 2013 and reopening at a to-be-determined date. The Lounge has been the subject of many stories throughout the year, from being largely responsible for the revitalization of East Liberty to the unfortunate gentrification and false reports of troublesome activity that threatened to tarnish the reputation of an otherwise welcome member of the community. More than just a place to kick back, this space has become a beacon for visitors, newcomers and residents who knew Pittsburgh was a special place far before its renaissance acquired the momentum it has today. Anyone who has been through its doors has inevitably formed a special memory or two and we’re no different. We will truly miss this establishment in 2013 and look forward to what the future will bring for the Shadow Lounge.
It’s hard to pick our three favorite things about the past year, but after careful consideration, the following three subjects emerged as clear leaders of the pack in terms of who killed it in 2012. We thank you for many long nights, unforgettable moments and wicked hangovers.
Belvedere’s: This place is without a doubt the go-to spot when you’re looking to do something fun on the cheap. A guaranteed party no matter what the occasion, Belvedere’s has been fueling our hangover for the entire year. Home to some of the best parties – Pudding Wrestling, Out Of Order, Get Weird, Down & Derby and of course 80s Night – there’s nowhere else one can go to find such diverse programming and a welcoming staff. Some other things we love about this place are their great beer selection, affordable prices, their karaoke nights and of course – the You Are Beautiful calendar. We just took ours off the fridge yesterday and are hoping they decide to do one again in 2013.
VIA: 2012 brought great change for the VIA folks as they opened a new space in East Liberty and scaled back this year’s festival from an outdoor stage to various venues in the East End. While some were skeptical as to how they could top last year’s programming, the VIA team proved yet again that they’re a force to be reckoned with in the Pittsburgh scene, bringing the likes of Moodymann, SSION, Spinn & Rashad, Bomba Estereo and Andy Stott, to name a few. Their progressive line-ups and approach have raised the bar for the type of artists that visit Pittsburgh and have opened the eyes and ears of a new generation of fan – one that welcomes new experiences rather than doing the same ol’ every weekend. 6119 has allowed them to keep their VIA Presents series consistent, while hosting a variety of events from other forward-thinking folk who share their vision. After an absolutely BANGIN New Year’s Eve party in conjunction with Honcho and Lazercrunk this past weekend we can’t wait to see what they pull off next.
Out Of Order: Humanaut‘s Out Of Order event series has solidified their place amongst the elite in the Pittsburgh party scene, bringing top notch talent and a consistent crowd to Belvedere’s once a month. If you’re an electronic music fan, there’s no legit excuse to keep you from attending, as this event should be a priority for anyone who likes to dance and party. Their guests include a great variety of locals, as well as house and techno newcomers and veterans mixed in with sets from Humanaut residents such as Aaron Clark, Paul Fleetwood and Revy. Their Sustainable Podcast series enables fans to relive the moment or hear what they might have missed. Best of all, their efforts as top notch promoters and mood-setters help to keep the ticket price low at only $5 an event and free before 10PM. Couple the price, talent and company with top-of-the-line sound and you have yourself one of the most talked-about series of parties in 2012. We look forward to seeing if the Humanaut boys can outdo themselves in 2013.
We couldn’t possibly mention everything we loved about 2012, but keep checking Nak You Out frequently for party suggestions, hot events and the people who make them happen! Stay tuned for our relaunch later in the month and a whole new look in 2013!