TheHundred is well-known in Denver for the amazing parties we bring to nightclubs like Vinyl and Bar Standard on weekend nights, but sometimes we like to shake things up just a little. Sunday afternoon we brought the party downtown to the outdoor 16th Street Mall with a silent disco, in partnership with the Denver Theatre District, and the help of local start-up SoundDown.
If you’ve ever been to the 16th Street Mall, you know that it’s a vibrant outdoor shopping center filled with the sounds of tourists chatting, street musicians playing guitar, and folks playing one of the ten public pianos scattered up and down the main strip. The street sounds add to the charm, providing an urban legitimacy more akin to denser, east coast cities. However you feel about the area, you can’t deny it has a certain energy.
The silent disco added to that energy without drowning out the local sounds as TheHundred’s label boss option4, along with Rose Hips and Keepers, blasted great house music directly to our domes through wireless headphones provided by the SoundDown guys. 16th Street became our dance-floor.
What’s usually tucked away, hidden from the masses within dark rooms and behind velvet ropes, was on full public display as a small crowd got down outside in broad daylight. Throngs of people who may never otherwise be exposed to electronic music—the sort confused by weird genre names like “deep house” or “tech”—were drawn to the nearly 50 smiling people dancing their hearts out, rocking big LED-lit headphones.
As the bystanders stopped to take video and pictures (I know we’re on YouTube and vine somewhere, guys), many of them took the chance to try on the high fidelity headphones and check out the music. Little kids and soccer moms were dancing right next to all the Hundos. It was fantastic.
I took a couple small breaks from the dancing—the day was beautiful but hot—and stood back to take in the scene with uncovered ears. 16th street sounded like 16th street, aside from the sound of a hundred dancing feet hitting pavement and the occasional “woo!” or “yeah!” But it didn’t look the same. And when you heard nothing but synchronized clapping to the time of a silent beat, you knew the energy was real.