Remember back when raves used to be in warehouses in the middle of industrial areas? Now think to the present to the shiny, polished, well-staffed commercial spaces that are being used for “raves” now... I found a unicorn this weekend, like “Sour Diesel”, a perfect hybrid of both worlds. This past weekend Up All Night, in partnership with recently opened Midway, threw a fucking rave.

Driving through the dogpatch I felt a flashback of raves past, surrounded by the industrial complexes, wondering where the hell this venue I had never been to was. Instantly seeing shadows cast on the sidewalk from where the lit up entrances were, and hearing the distant vibration of the bass, I knew I was there before I really even looked at it.

Upon entering I walked through the hall which was lined with black rope, like the VIP lines at overly crowded clubs, except in this instance they were used to keep partygoers away from the nicely displayed art. I felt in awe. At this point, I pride myself on being sort of a nightlife veteran, but for a second I felt like the raver I was at 16 years old getting into an adventure I didn’t know I was looking for. I felt the need to explore.

Meandering my way into the main room I looked up at the stage where the DJ booth was, my eyes were met with an aesthetically-pleasing light display of enormous geometric proportions. The main room was enormous, I felt like I was at a LA massive, like “really, who has this kind of space in San Francisco anymore? The Midway, that’s who. I felt myself say out loud ‘rave, as fuck.’”

After taking a shot of tequila, I made my way past what looked like a restaurant and onto a patio where the Disco Knights crew had the beats blazing and the crowd going strong. After getting my boots warmed up, I left the outside area and went back to the main room to catch Odd Parents. While Odd Oswald was gracing the decks, I felt something I hadn’t felt since I was that 16 year old raver-- the need to stand in the middle of the crowd while the insanity of the sounds took over my ear drums.

For a couple hours I bounced between the outdoor area and the main stage, soaking up the music and awaiting the reason I went there, Maceo Plex.

At last, Maceo Plex took the decks and reigned the dance floor like King of the Underground, playing deep, dark cuts. He brought a dirty basement European sound to San Francisco, and it was like taking a dip in cold water on a ridiculously hot day. The beats vibed with the surroundings and it was unapologetically techno. I find myself at a loss of words so I’ll let your FOMO on instagram help fill your gaps.

Thank you for that, Up All Night + Midway. It was a Happy Valentine’s to me!