Recently, Chicago has seen a surge of events being thrown at more diverse locations than ever. Moving out of regular nightclubs and the usual after-hours spots, event promoters in the city have looked at more unique venuess to host their parties. Recently this trend has seen heavyweight EDM DJs such as Kaskade and Afrojack play at an iconic tourist destination on Chicago’s waterfront, Navy Pier. Kaskade played inside one of the massive convention rooms at the pier while Afrojack played at the very end of the pier where the Grand Ballroom is located.
Moodymann playing on Navy Pier’s roof (Photo: Paradigm Presents)
Following this trend, underground music promoters Paradigm Presents upped the ante this past Sunday by organizing a label showcase party on the rooftop of Navy Pier labeled “Rumors On The Pier”, in reference to Guy Gerber‘s new Rumors label. The self-proclaimed EDM outsider who hails from Israel brought the heat to the Windy City with a superb performance backed by opening sets from Detroit’s own Moodymann, Delano Smith and Spybar resident Phil Groves.
Sandwiched between two days of torrential rain that hit the city, it definitely felt that on Sunday the House Gods were smiling down on Paradigm Presents and Gerber, gifting all in attendance with a cloudless sunny day perfect for a day and evening to enjoy house music. Beginning at 2pm and ending at 11pm, the venue and the striking city skyline in the background proved to be a perfect rooftop party spot for an event of this kind.
It was a little tricky to locate the exact access to the rooftop but after a few minutes of trial and error I managed to find my way through the huge pier and out onto the spacious roof. I was not sure what to expect but there was a lot of space, ample seathing space to hang out on the sides and bars that served alcoholic drinks for moderately decent prices when compared to club prices.
I arrived a little later than desired but just in time to catch the end of Delano Smith’s set and groove to a remix of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” before it was Moodymann’s turn to take over the decks. The Detroit legend played a funky and soul-inspired vinyl-only set with infusions of motown, disco and old-style house that had everyone feeling like 1976 again. It would be hard to name all the gems he played but the man who provided the voice sample behind Oliver $’s “Doin’ Yo Thang” dropped Sandy Rivera’s Classic Mix of “Fall For You” by Kings of Tomorrow ft. April as well as his very own production “People”.
Guy Gerber takes on the decks (Photo: Paradigm Presents)
All evening leading up to his set, I wondered about “11 11”, Gerber’s new collaborative project with P. Diddy. Released just over a week ago for free download on Beatport, I was unsure on how incorporating tracks from the album in a live set would turn out. Any and all doubts immediately vanished the second he dropped “Tourist Trap”, a track that worked extremely well with the crowd at the beginning of the set.
Seemingly in synch with Paradigm Presents’ event, a full firework display in honor of Chicago’s Little League baseball team reaching the World Series finals shot up over Lake Michigan as soon as Gerber began took on the decks. The tone for the evening was set: one of a festive celebration in honor of house music in the birth city of this amazing movement.
Guy Gerber – Rumors (Photo: Mantas Steles)
As Gerber closed out with TB’s “Invitation To Love”, I couldn’t help but look around and realize I had just been a part of one of the best summer parties Chicago hosted this year. Massive thumbs up to Paradigm Presents for thinking outside the box on the venue and for bringing top-notch talent to keep us dancing all day and evening – here’s to hoping for more events on Navy Pier’s rooftop!