Let’s Get Dirrty, With A Neon-Trap Twist – Paint Parties Hit New Orleans

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

The paint party craze has been sweeping the nation for a minute now. New Orleans-based Ampersand Events has been consistently proving to the Gulf Coast, and the South in general, that they know how to throw a rocking paint party. This is my first foray into the neon-glow paint party madness and it was a resounding success: dirty beats, Playboy Playmate DJ Rhiannon, and some of the happiest people on the planet that you wouldn’t let sit on your couch until they took a shower 🙂

I’m always down to try something new. I normally don’t even require much encouragement. A friend of mine asked me if I had ever been to one of those “paint party things.” As fate would have it, Ampersand Events, would provide the necessary outlet to pop my “Neon-Glow” cherry in just a few short weeks. I had to prepare myself mentally. The lineup was to include two of New Orleans’ powerhouses, Klutch and Beverly Skillz, and the metaphorical cherry on top, Playboy Playmate DJ Rhiannon.

How does one prepare to enter the neon-painted madness? All of my provisional research was inconclusive. Pictures portrayed the “paint enthusiasts” as though they were extras in an explosive sci-fi movie where the aliens lost the war. The ironic twist is that every person also looked like they were having the time of their life. Armed only with the knowledge that I should keep my phone and wallet in a ziplock, the countdown was over. Neon Armageddon was coming whether I was ready or not.

You could feel the energy building as we approached. Audio snippets permeated the atrium as we waited in line. Klutch’s opening set bathed us in BASS as we established our command post on the periphery of the madness. Life became instantly simplified once I realized a “plan of attack” was unnecessary in this environment. There was no hostility here, only smiles and some of the slipperiest hugs available.

I’ve never seen anyone smile when a car splashes them on the street, but the visible excitement upon receiving an eighty foot arc of neon paint to the face, was present everywhere. Battle cries of, “Let’s Get Weird!!!” filled the night as inhibitions were bathed in go-go madness and Bev Skillz’ dirty blend of both classic hits and new school bangers. I won’t say there was a natural progression to the evening because the energy level was off-the-charts from the jump. Cheers of appreciation for the epic work Ms. Skillz put in transitioned seamlessly into a unified welcoming for DJ Rhiannon. Simply put, childish stereotypes were put to rest. DJ Rhiannon came to bring the noise and to say she was successful would be a drastic understatement.

I witnessed one non-PLUR incident the entire evening that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention. A couple got into an argument outside over “why were you looking at her.” I only mentioned this because this kind of behavior is not commonplace when musical communion is the motive for the evening. I didn’t let this spoil the overall message of the evening: a night spent with friends (old and new) with music in the air and the beat in your heart goes directly in the “win” column.