Follow the sign…keep going up and up and up until you emerge on the rooftop! That’s what we did Friday night — not once, but twice. Stonewall Gallery and Artpace both decided to present rooftop parties to kick off the Labor Day weekend, which is a great thing to do on a sultry summer night in San Antonio. This city is really starting to come into its own as an arts entertainment destination — we’re not driving to Austin anymore, they’re coming here!
In addition to the starting DJ and the bands, a laser light show was provided courtesy of the gentleman shown below, who used a Microsoft Surface RT tablet to make it all happen. If anyone knows his name, make a comment and I’ll give him proper credit.
The entertainment continued as night settled into the cityscape surrounding us. Aside from the laser show, there was little lighting set up — the dimness only served to enhance the performances and the city vista surrounding us.
After the retro-indie sounds of Silk Rodeo, next up was SSLEEPERHOLD, a one-person act who provided an early-period Tangerine Dream-esque groove. And as you can see, he was quite popular with the photographers on hand.
It was starting to get late, so it was time to take the long trek back down to the ground and drive across downtown to Artpace. We will be back to Stonewall Gallery if they ever host another event! And thanks to Pabst Blue Ribbon for the cold beer, which quickly ran out. As we were leaving, the cavalry was coming in, lugging cases of Lone Star and big bags of ice up the stairs. A sizeable and thirsty crowd indeed!
Similar yet different, Artpace had a scene somewhat unlike that of Stonewall. Better lit, with less of an improvised feeling to it. There was still plenty of Blue Moon on tap, even at 10pm. At this point, DJ Steven Lee Moya was spinning tunes. Preceeding him was the band Heavy Clay.
Steven was laying down a heavy soul groove, part of the emerging sound of event sponsor KRTU-FM, which is branching out musically under the leadership of new station manager JJ Lopez. Kudos to them — jazz is a big tent musically, and all of its forms should be explored and presented.
What we couldn’t figure out, though, was why the band was packing up to leave before the party was over. I had a chance to ask one of the band members, and he explained with a quizzical air that they were told to play only one set. What…the DJ was the second act? I have to seriously question this. Although DJ Steven is certainly great, normally he would play an opening act, between the sets and after the band finishes. Have we reached a time and place where the band is the opening act to a DJ? Sorry folks, but I don’t think so…
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Regardless, a fantastic time was had by all, at both events. Be sure to check out Stonewall Gallery, and consider getting an Artpace membership. It helps the organization, and you get entree to some great events. We’ll see you there!
Check out the rest of the photos by clicking here.