Wow, if you told me ten years ago I'd be at a rave on a random Tuesday night in Omaha, I would've said you're crazy!
Sure enough, last night (2/15) the Slowdown played host to a raging party featuring dance-pop stars Cheat Codes, Party Pupils, and Forgotten Senses. Now technically, to be considered a rave I think you're required to have a secret location with a variety of illicit drugs (I'm just going by an episode of Dawson's Creek I saw one time).
At the height of rave culture in the 2000s I was on the complete other end of the musical spectrum hitting up shows like Deftones, Soulfly, System of a Down, and yes, Limp Bizkit. Now that my musical palate has expanded beyond angry youth culture I try to catch a bit of everything. I can safely say this was a bit off the beaten path for me, but it was a lot of fun!
The night started with Forgotten Senses, a trio of DJs spinning cut ups of modern pop and hip-hop. This got the party started and the crowd was definitely vibing along.
The next DJ up, Party Pupils, turned things up a notch. I don't know if the bass volume increased or what, but by the time he started spinning, the room had filled in a bit more and the crowd was rocking hard.
Unlike Forgotten Senses who just played the music, DJ Party Pupils had a mic and was pumping the room up with a lot of "How we doin Omaha? Let's get this place lit!" and other various DJ shout out phrases. The crowd responded in kind with shouts of "woo!" and even a few t-shirts whipping around like a helicopter. DJ Party Pupils had the look of a true professional with a yellow track suit, yellow headphones, and crazy yellow sunglasses. He "had the drip" as you would say.
Another cool aspect of this show was the set up time. At a rock show there's always a good 20 to 30 minutes in-between acts to set up gear. Since the majority of the music was happening electronically there was virtually no setup between acts. After Forgotten Senses, DJ Party Pupils just picked up and kept the party going!
After DJ Party Pupils there was a few minutes of break to move a DJ table and get the lighting just right, but before I knew it Cheat Codes had arrived to thunderous applause! By now the room was going nuts as the Hellraisers Tour was in full effect. This random Tuesday in Omaha was about to pop off!
While the band played, several animations ran on a screen behind them including footage from their music videos, flying robots, volcanoes, and a trippy forest. It was super challenging to shoot photos with all the strobing and how fast everything was moving, but it was a feast for the eyes, and I'm sure the crowd appreciated it.
Cheat Codes played backing tracks for the majority of the set mixing up original material and current pop/hip-hop tracks, but all three members did some singing and played instruments as well. Trevor Dahl handled the majority of the vocals and at one point played guitar alongside Matthew Hall who played bass. DJ Kevi rounded out the vocals stepping out from behind the DJ table several times to sing along with group. Throughout the set there was also a live drummer.
So while a lot of the music was being produced electronically, it didn't come off as stale. Cheat Codes had the whole crowd rocking from front to back. While I was hoping to see a bit more turnout, I think there was a pretty decent showing for an event that started at 9:00 on a Tuesday. Plus, the people who did show up were dedicated partiers. There was a wide range of characters from glitter and jeweled faces, to back-pack dancers, and glow-stick rockers. Everyone there was ready to get down.
Cheat Codes mentioned that it was their first time in Omaha, but judging from the energy of the band and the raging dance floor, I don't think it will be their last time to grace our fair city.
A big thanks and shout out to Cheat Codes management for the media spot. If you like what you read, please take a moment to follow our socials and share this article! It's completely free and it helps keep content like this going. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @storiesfromthecrowd