Tribal Beats on the Beach
Review of Chus + Ceballos and Victor Calderone at Governors Island 7/5

The second day of the 4th of July festivities at Governors Island featured dark, fresh, and tribal beats from artists like Chus + Ceballos, and headliner Victor Calderone. It was quite a transition from the day before, which was all about jumping and raging. The fans were filled with a raw energy as spectators jostled elbows and craned their necks closer to the front of the stage. What I experienced at Victor Calderone on Friday, July 5th, was far different from any show I’ve been to in the past. As I’m sure you can imagine, tech house generally attracts an older, more mature crowd. Unlike the day before where nearly everyone arrived in ridiculous festival attire, the general look guests were going for was “beachy.” Think maxi skirts, sundresses, sandals and white capris. A lot of guests were from the Brooklyn area, which makes sense since Victor grew up in our very own Bensonhurst. The best part about the show, was that overall, people were much friendlier that evening. The atmosphere was more relaxed, as opposed to the previous night where fans were clustered in a thrashing frenzy, absorbed in the drops and the lightshow in the backdrop. The music facilitated a calm, more serene atmosphere among the fans that you don’t get to experience at other shows. It was interesting to see what the other end of the EDM spectrum is like. 

Tech house is not my genre of choice, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t think that I would enjoy Chus  + Ceballos and Victor Calderone’s sets as much as I did. I was somewhat at a loss for words when the former began their set with a bang, literally. They opened with quite possibly the loudest, most exciting beats that truly brought the crowd’s energy to a new level. Shortly thereafter, a man in a white and blue dress, translucent heels and what may have been fairy wings, walked across the stage and flashed his entire ass on stage. The whole venue began cheering for more; Americans simply love ass and just can’t get enough of it. 

I spoke to a few people at the show, wanting to know their opinion of Victor Calderone. Some believe that he has “gone downhill,” but of course, the majority of people I chatted with contested that “he’s still got it.” This enthusiasm showed when fans screamed as he entered the stage and began working his magic. I can’t tell you what tracks he used in his set, but I can tell you this: whatever they were, everyone around me was loving every moment of it. The girls that were really connected with the music showed off some intensive dance moves, which implemented hip-hoppy elements. Flaunting booty shorts and crop topes, they moved so quickly that I didn’t even know where to look. To say that they owned the dance floor is an understatement.

Whereas at most shows the crowd is lit up with LED gloves, binkies and what not, you really didn’t see much of that at Victor Calderone. The show was darker, but sexy and more mysterious. Individual faces were obscured, as silhouettes of figures bobbed around me. It was the kind of milieu in which all you really wanted to do was smoke a few cigarettes, chill out, and focus on the beats and its aesthetics.