Though the city often lives up to its reputation as the place where fun comes to die a brutal death, I’ve still had some of the most fun of my life here. The former Club 23 was literally my home every weekend for two years, and in that time the number of brain cells I killed was probably equal to half the population of Europe. But dammit, I’d kill the other half in a second if I knew it would be just as fun. And of course, I came out of it all with some wonderful WTF moments that are just all too Vancouver.
EarthDance is basically that orgy/rave thing from The Matrix Reloaded, but held once a year in Stanley Park rather than the underground city of Zion. I highly recommend it, but here’s the thing: don’t be an idiot and climb a cliff to get there, because it sucks balls. I learned the hard way three summers ago when some friends and I, still feeling like zombie abortions from the night before, embarked on the most stupidly perilous roundabout journey to get there. Our first mistake was coming dressed in the same club clothes as the night before (skin-tight orange jeans and five-inch raver platforms was not a good choice). Our second was deciding to follow a weird group of hippies through the park instead of just checking the map. Considering the palpable drug haze surrounding them this shouldn’t have been surprising, but an hour later we all somehow ended up on the seawall, nowhere even close to EarthDance. Well, that wasn’t totally true… the party was actually going on about 150 feet above us, to which we all turned to each other asked, “why not just climb up?”
So, that’s what we did; five haggard freaks dressed like the cast of Party Monster began climbing the, uh, “hillside.” And here’s what we realized: 1) we were climbing up a 70-degree angle, 2) rave boots have shitty grip, and 3) most of the plants we had to cling to were thistles. But for some reason, it still didn’t click that this idea was completely idiotic, so soldier on we did. What ensued was twenty minutes of literally clinging for our lives to the spike-laden wall of a cliff 100 feet off the ground – scraped, bloody and unable to fathom our own stupidity. Be we still kept on crawling up. Rocks fell out from under our feet, those below grabbed onto the limbs of those above, constant screaming filled the air: all the classic moments from Cliffhanger played out in reality. But in the end, we made it. Exhausted, filthy and having probably all soiled ourselves at some point, we walked out into that music-filled clearing, heads held high in victory. It was a beautiful day, and it was finally time to DANCE!
And dance we did… until the party ended 30 minutes later.
Cocaine is pretty indiscriminate when turning people into assholes. From popped-collar roid-monkies to menopausal nuns, there’s a good chance enough of it could transform anyone into the Tasmanian Devil’s douchebag cousin. Such was the case one Friday night at Club 23 when I started chatting with a friendly five-foot-nothing raver girl there for the first time with her boyfriend. She was obviously riding the white horse, but she was nice and seemed to be having a blast, so I had little reason to suspect what would happen next.
An hour later, my friend and I were out front having a smoke when the same girl suddenly burst through the doors, sweating bullets and completely bat-shit insane, her eyes practically rolling in her head. No doubt about it, berserker mode had been engaged.
“YOU!” She pointed at us.
“WHERE’S MY FUCKING COKE?”
Having absolutely no clue what was she was on about, we just stood there in horror as she made a beeline in our direction. Suddenly, like some switch had been flicked, she stops, turns around, and grabs some random guy. It only lasted 15 seconds, but in that time the girl clung to the poor guy until he was on his hands and knees. She was spluttering incomprehensible coke jargon and started literally stomping on him with her high heels. Snowball Sally practically used his head and body like he was a cocaine-stealing trampoline until the bouncer and his crew ripped her off of him. My friend and I just stood there for the next 10 minutes trying to process what ensued: a screaming girl being dragged into a cop car, a guy bruised and bloody, lying stunned, and now, her desperate-looking boyfriend coming barreling out the club. He turned to us.
“Have you seen my girlfriend?!”
“Yah…” I said. “She just got arrested for attacking that guy there.”
He rolled his eyes. “FUCK! NOT AGAIN!”
Words by | Kevin Kostal