Alison Wonderland Warehouse Tour @ West End, 24th May
Imagine, if you will… The doors to a dusty warehouse, seemingly risen from the bitumen of a West End vacant lot. You make your way towards the line that trails towards the tasty sounds leaking from within. After what seems to be the absolute limit to your curiosity you make it to the front. Slowly and carefully, you make your way into the crowd that filled the sold out event. You are instantly met with video prisms, flying GoPro cameras, seas of tie-dye and a sweaty exhilarated crowd, heaving to basslines and rhythmic strings being shot out the fingers of the Grey Goose guzzling, ex-cellist, electronic witch; Alison Wonderland. Doesn’t that sound cool? Can’t you just feel the blood rushing to your head in excitement at that description? Let me tell you guys now, it was just as thrilling being there (if you can believe that).
I finished a gruelling Saturday of work to the comfort of having two tickets to the sold out warehouse party, put on by Alison Wonderland and Oh Hello. Up until now the location had been an utmost secret, with only vague descriptions and teasing of transport options to the secret location. The line up looked stellar; Brisbane resident DJ and local favourite Young Franco, permanent Triple J blasting young gun Wave Racer and the wildly popular crowd surfing, chart climbing Miss Wonderland.
After making my way to Oh Hello at around 6:30 via a free Uber Taxi ride, (thanks promotional codes) I ended up at the back of a line chock-a-block full of phone glances, wired to the numbers slowly rolling forwards towards the looming 7:00 start time. As the line seemingly moved at the speed of a paralysed earthworm, word of bus delays made its way to my end of the tail. In about 3 minutes the majority of fortitude valley’s taxi fleet were on their way to West End where the warehouse had been revealed in all its glory. As a struggling uni student, I decided against the yellow money grabbers on wheels and jumped aboard a public bus with a good three times the recommended limit of passengers. Amongst the goon sacks and what I can only assume was baby Panadol being passed around, I sat. With my face furiously smashed between somebodies sweaty back and a foggy window, I had my fingers crossed that the line wasn’t long enough that I would miss any of the good times ahead.
Glitter dusted people’s cheeks, faces were painted, boys and girls alike chewed at gum and downed water as if their life depended on it; but more apparent than these small observations was the unity of a fan base coming together in a brutally joyous act of party. Damn. From all acts, the music was fresher than talcum powdered baby feet. A mix of overtly popular sounds and anthems, thrown against singles and favourites of each respected DJ/Producer. Not once did the crowd lose interest or energy, in fact as a crowd we were drawn into the churning collective that made up the middle front and spat out in an organically mirrored sea of bodies. The turnover of acts was unimaginably quick and even the more reserved patrons at the back of the warehouse could be seen throwing down some insane form of dance feat; or foot tap.
The warehouse set ended at around 10:15 with an announcement made by Alison thanking the crowd for their support and informing them that the party had really just started and busses were on their way to take us all into the valley for kick ons. As I lent against a wall of the warehouse, I felt what I thought to be a drop of alcohol dampen my clothes. I quickly realised that the wetness covering the pole and the rest of the inside area was not in fact spilt drinks but condensation or airborne sweat from all the radical times that we had been having. It was around this time that it sunk in how incredibly cruel it was to not know when the next warehouse tour (if there is one to be had) would begin. If Alison and friends come knocking on Brisbane’s door again I recommend welcoming them with open arms.