Grab Your Spoon and Put On Your Dancin' Shoes by Jordan Kalb
Nestled in the heart of Riverwest just East of Holton Street on Center lies Mad Planet. This music venue/bar resembles that of a dissident bunker that could have been used during the prohibition era. Oversized arrows painted on the walls instructed attendees where to proceed to, unlabeled bulky metal slab doors rested stationary on the building’s exterior, and seemed to be unused, and an undersized pass way marked the entrance.
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 Irie Vibez Productions, an event production/promotion and entertainment consulting agency, hosted the evenings get-down. Ras Adam, President of Irie Vibez Productions deemed the show a huge success.
"It worked well, fusing Madison and Milwaukee's elite jam band and DJ scene," said Adam. "All Irie Vibez all night! It was a great turnout and keep on the lookout for more great things to come in 2011."
The Grasshoppers heated up the night and fueled the evenings’ endeavors covering songs by Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. The fractalized lasers streamed across the crowd, scanning the faces of fans, color changing rope lights illuminated the ceiling, and a mellow, softly colored liquid portal screen enhanced the show visually for its’ viewers.
The bands were accompanied by a live artist, Audrey Delany, a former MIAD art student. She says Mad Planet is a great place to throw down some paint.
"On top of the live music, the atmosphere in this venue helped my flow," said Delany. "It is a very artsy inspired place and this helped the creative energy continuing to explode. It is an honor and I am truly grateful for the opportunity; it has been euphoric and an extremely spiritually uplifting experience."
In between sets DJ Rick Jules took the stage to keep everybody moving until stage setups were complete. He kept a steady flow of electronified dubstep beats banging, a more modest approach than the typical rapid mash-ups beats created by some DJ’s. He incorporated an electronic percussion set into his creations, adding personality to the act.
With adequate space on the dance floor the crowd was diggin’ the change of pace during set breaks and broke out some funky maneuvers. The elongated bar, set back from the stage provided customers with trouble-free access to their beverages without the annoyance to their fellow boogey-buddies.
The venue had arranged two separate stages for smooth transitions between acts. For the most part the area inside was widely open, but contained sectioned off lounge dens for people to take a breather if necessary. These den-like spaces included amenities like pinball machines, pool tables, couches, and bean bag chairs. The walls were littered with artwork, and even the walls themselves had been painted with a dab of artistic beauty.
Local live music supporter, Lauren Liederbach, commented that she really enjoyed the lighting during the performances.
"The crowd was lovin’ it," said Liederbach. "I ran into some very good time people this evening."
The intricate melodic chimes of eerie laughter and change jingling indicated Soup’s passionate loyalty to Floyd. The laser waves glided into the eyes of all listeners, and provided a sense of intimate emotion in the room.
Recent addition, singer/songwriter, Joni Derdzinski, presented herself on stage for a cherished enhancement of the bands already flourishing reverberations. The energy in the room was relaxed and tranquil; the crowd seemed to flow as one fluent entity, motioning signals of joy.
Avid concert-goer, Nolan Rumsey, noted his favorite part of the night was when Joni sang for the cover of Pink Floyd- Great Gig in the Sky.
"The most genuine shivers I have ever felt," said Rumsey. "I was alllllll tingly."
The sound quality was pretty impressive, being as wide open and spacious the venue was. The tunes became muffled at points, however these imperfections were miniscule and the fans didn’t seem to be affected.
Joni captured the audience’s attention with her compassionately stern, yet fragile voice. She claimed to have prepared herself with bliss for the evenings show, but had no idea what the experience would truly entail.
"It was pure memorization and passion," said Derdzinski. "What I feel right now is what I have been planning for this whole week, and now that it’s over I can’t even tell you my minds thoughts when I was singing on stage."
Across form one of the lounge dens there was a set of vendor stands selling everything from gem wraps, homemade food including Jerry Garcia Burritos, jewelry, shirts and merchandise, and more.
Connected to the venue just passed the pool table separated by a door is a place where fans may go to enjoy a smoke or grasp for fresh air. The beer garden/smokers patio, unheated, yet blocked form the harsh winter winds, adds a unique and efficient place for people to take a break, rather than gathering in the streets or sidewalk to have a cigarette.
Undercover Organism’s drummer, and first timer at Mad Planet, Rick Carlson, says it is almost always about the atmosphere when accessing live music.
"If the crowd isn’t diggin’ the scene the artists can feel that," said Carlson. "This sure wasn’t the case tonight. There were good friends, good drinks, good music, and that’s all you need. Do something you love and stick with it."
Finishing off the night was DJ Rick Jules supplying another heaping helping of dubstep dessert.
Will Simota, a recently added associate to Irie Vibez Productions, says all of the artists came to get down, as did the Milwaukeeans.
"The turnout was fantastic and the jams kept Mad Planet warm on this frigid December night," said Simota.