All White Everything: Sensation Adds Feeling To The Barclays Center, or Please Touch My Head, Stranger
Three days before New York was ravaged by the worst natural disaster to hit the city in over a century, downtown Brooklyn was ravaged by the best artificial music an intoxicated bro could ask for, played by a dude painted white (and probably a dozen others, I don't know, how do you think I was feeling?). For future reference: when someone invites you to an evening where all-white attire is mandatory, trance music flows from the center for upwards of six hours, and tickets cost an absurd amount of money, you're going to encounter quite a few people with dilated pupils who have no idea what time it is. It's worth ponying-up for the extra-curriculars.
Sensation is a dance-party/spectacle that originated in the motherland of drug-induced rave culture (Europe), and has just managed to penetrate American shores this year. It's probably not a coincidence they held the first NYC Sensation at the city's newest arena. The initial victory lap of the Barclays Center also included several nights of Jay-Z, an opening night victory by the newly christened Brooklyn Nets, and a hurricane, to whom we owe the delay of this article. It's been an eventful couple of weeks for the billion-dollar baby arena.
Sensation is not so much a party as an "experience," an immersive show more akin to a Cirque Du Soleil (but with way more freedom to make out with your messed-up neighbor). Acrobats undulate around some sort of perverse flower centerpiece, where various DJ characters sit on a rotating platform and nod accordingly to their sonic machinations. There are plenty of lights, laser lights adorning the ceiling-scape, lights on the stage, lights pulsating on the audience, lights attached to people's wrists and heads and necklaces, all blinking and affecting the rollicking mood. At one point, it began to feel like a bunch of brains floating in musical liquid, all bound by some sort of subliminal electric pulse connecting every synapses to a synchronized downbeat. Did I mention the dilated pupils?
None of the DJs were the typically known entities, but it didn't matter. The most important qualities of a drug-fueled dance orgy like this are keeping a group of people you know and can be comfortable with around at all times, and plenty of water. Other than that, its pretty easy to figure out the particulars: wear comfortable shoes, you're going to be dancing for six hours. Remember to relax. And get someone to touch your face. Shit like this doesnt happen every day.