“What is the purpose of your visit?” asked the border guide at Fort Erie.
“We are going to an electronic dance music festival slash black light fashion show. And also for chicken wings” I answered.
“We are?” asked Long as we pulled away. “That sounds like a lot of descriptives for one thing”.
And yes, yes it does. An electronic dance music festival slash black light fashion show, in Buffalo New York. Actually Depew, a village just outside of Buffalo if you are looking for specifics. When it came up on a deal of the day site I could not resist. I think Long knew about the fashion show but not the EDM part. But first stop … The Anchor Bar , an institution that boasts of having created the original Buffalo wing back in 1964. I am generally not much of a wing fan as I prefer to eat food you don’t have to wrestle with but these are pretty damn fine and when in Rome …
We paired these beauties with some deep fried tacos. Odd indeed, and absolutely falling in to the “I need to know” category. Well, now I do know and I can report that they are very strange, delicious, and probably deeply addictive. With the addition of some creamy coleslaw and potato salad we created the perfect, if entirely lacking in nutritional value, meal. On our way out we popped by the gift store and espied this curious sight:
The lovely cashier informed us that the odd neon orange blobs were in fact chicken wing hats.
And yes, one came home. (I think I forgot to claim it at the border, now that I think about it. But I didn’t really NEED to get pulled over and frisked).
Fully sated, Long and I paused briefly at the Hampton Inn to drop off our bags, then on to The Cove in Depew for the show. What a weird little world that was. The huge space looked like some kind of Jimmy Buffett beach fantasy but for the show it was tricked out in black lighting with neon accents.
When I booked the tickets I decided to spring for the VIP package primarily so I could secure guaranteed seating with a clear view which can be an issue if you are vertically challenged, but also for the intriguing promise of champagne and hair extensions that were promised in the price. I immediately passed the booze to Long but was delighted to discover the hair extensions were actually clips that lit up, and came with an illuminated necklace and some coloured glow in the dark bracelets.
I had just assumed that Long and I would be the oldest people in the room and very possibly two of the few caucasians, but I was absolutely incorrect. The crowd was largely though not exclusively white and the age range was very large. I suspect most of the people in the VIP section were older that we were. It was very civilized, with no obvious drug consumption and moderate boozing from what I observed.
We took our seats with the EDM pounding away and watched the spectacle unfold before our eyes. The fashion show was less about fashion, and all about body art. The models came in all shapes and sizes and seemed to be recruited from anyone who would agree to be completely naked save thong underwear and glow in the dark paints. They looked pretty great, and the cat walkers were broken up by a performance by the worst aerialist I have ever seen (honestly, Long and I went to a single introductory flying yoga class and I think we would have managed about the same degree of grace).
Later a break dancing troupe arrived, consisting of three talented black guys and one white dude who looked like they might have let in as a joke. It brought to mind the brilliant “In Living Colour” skit called “White White Baby”in which Jim Carrey spoofs Vanilla Ice . Long and I agreed they should have opened the show, and also that black light is not the best forum for break dancers as you really want to see the contortions they are pulling.
The models paraded by for the next few hours and while we were enjoying ourselves thoroughly Long and I decided to make a break for it when we sensed the action was winding down to avoid a mass exodus. We headed back to the hotel and marvelled (probably very loudly as we were both a little deaf by that point) at how a 25 minute drive seems prohibitive when you are out of town but is actually less time than it takes to get from Long’s house to mine. We live in a big city but it is easy to forget it. Once we were safely home we stepped off the elevator into an overpowering wall of scent. Curiously absent from the EDM concert, the entire floor of the hotel was thick with the fug of weed. It was like the entire place was hot boxed and as our room was at the far end of the hall we thought we very well may find ourselves with a contact high such was the extent of the odor. I don’t know if it was the second hand reefer, the fact that I was partly deaf from the concert or just the exhaustion of such a fun and event filled day but I fell in to a deep sleep, happily anticipating what the next day would bring.
Which is what you too will have to wait for as we will pick up day 2 of the Buffalonian odyssey next week.
Here are some scenes from the show: