The bartender went to fetch my cold, canned Pabst Blue Ribbon. The walls started to rattle because the bass in the speakers from a Kid Cudi song, like "Girls" or "Burn Baby Burn," was so so heavy. I was a blurred figure in the mirror behind the bar because the bass really shook the establishment, Spirit Lodge, that much.
This was a brief moment away from the dance floor, which I did not leave all night unless to get more drink.
Credit goes to RB of FarESH Brand, the event's host, and DJs EYEJAY and Paizley. In her promotional Instagram post before the function, specifically called "Finesse," EYEJAY wrote "Pixburgh needs this!"
It was a party at Spirit. Pittsburgh rallied around the music, contemporary hip-hop, Jersey Club, and trap sounds boomed and drunken melodies rang out from everyone in the crowd. Couples, friends, locals, politicians, and popular figures found their rhythm together.
I looked to my left and rapper Mars Jackson stepped with pep, influenced by joy from his sister's wedding which occurred earlier in the day, and surely the spirits. Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" ran. "Nigga, we gon' be alright" praised the people on the dance floor. Everything was liberating and fun, turnt. Photographer and lifestyle icon Keep Pittsburgh Dope, wearing a Steelers, Rod Woodson T-shirt that read "Xplosive," stood atop a wooden block where the speakers sat. "Only real niggas keep you float, Only trill niggas I know," sang Travi$ Scott in his song "3500." When KPD was on the floor, grooving next to his business partner and friend Cody Baker, I said, "I'm fucking lit man." KPD, with a slight smirk on his face, replied, "Oh, we're already there."
EYEJAY and Paizley kept things exciting. "I know you got more," I shouted to them over the music. They did have more. Anthems played, and they exposed us to tunes perhaps unfamiliar to some people. In a toboggan hat fit to his head, denim jacket, and tie dye sweatshirt, Choo Jackson floated next to the DJs when they played his "Back From Texas" track. "What you need, what-what you need?" the speakers said. "Racks on racks on racks, racks, Maybachs on bachs on bachs on bachs on bachs," RB chanted the lyrics to Jay Z and Kanye West's "Gotta Have It." Youths loved the Lil Uzi Vert, and spoken word artist Grits Capone reacted kindly to the menacing "Red Opps" by Atlanta's 21 Savage.
We were all dancing circles around each other, and mean mugging at every bass hit and raw lyric from the musical artists we appreciated most.
Smiles were felt too because we partied as a community, we were nothing but ourselves and nobody looked at us differently (until I knocked a drink out of some lady's hand from my flailing dance move).
Most importantly, genuine experiences such as the one at Spirit Lodge on July 23 are happening with more frequency around Pittsburgh and that alone means more fun, happiness, and culture.