event review: KLX

I have never been to KLX before, despite its proximity to home, cheap ticket, and general appeal as a Lindy Exchange — I was always busy or in the middle of midterms or just off of AVS. But this year, the Flying Biscuits were performing, and I found it was a fantastic excuse to attend the weekend. I mean, if I have to go to perform, I may as well go to dance as well!

It was a small, but fairly well-run event. I volunteer for every event I attend, and I found that all the coordinators and fellow volunteers I worked with were amiable and well-informed; also, Jenna (volunteer coordinator) was a pleasure to work with, as she put up with a lot of my high-maintenance moments before the event.

As far as music goes, I enjoyed both the bands I heard. On Friday night, the Old City Buskers were cute and played a wide variety of tempos, and their songs never went on more than three or four minutes; however, their vocals were sometimes out of tune, which was a little off-putting. On Saturday night, the Streamliners played some great big-band jazz at a wide variety of tempos; however, I found their songs went on for far too long (somewhere over 4 minutes I get tired, and the average song was over 6 minutes). Still, I thought they were a good choice for Saturday night. I did not hear Cristobel and the Jons on Sunday night, but I know I would have enjoyed them.

Regarding DJs, I mostly enjoyed all the music. I particularly enjoyed the sets by Michael Gamble and Rob Moreland, but that wasn’t a huge surprise to me. Breanna and Yossef were enjoyable, and Laura was hit or miss for me. Honestly, though, I was in the mood to dance, and that made me more amiable to the average set than usual. I didn’t go in the blues room at all, so I can’t tell you what that room was like.

Speaking of the blues room, that would be my biggest criticism. I mean, why? It’s fairly common, especially in large events. But KLX was a smaller event, and we comfortably filled the Saturday night main dance — maybe a tiny bit crowded, but not so much that it was unbearable. When the rooms were split for the late night, the body count in each room got extremely low, which was only exacerbated when many left to get some shut eye. I understand the desire of many attendees for a blues room at late night, but I think there’s a point where you have to choose to keep everyone in one room just so that the event maintains the energy past midnight. It is much more enjoyable for me, I think, to tell the DJs to play a happy medium of Lindy songs and some groovy, blues-able songs. At KLX, though the late nights ran to five am each night, there were fewer than fifteen people in the Lindy room pas 2:30 pm…and that’s just depressing. And while we’re on late nights — why would you ever have the registration desk manned by two volunteers until 5am? Just saying, it didn’t really make sense.

Overall, I found the event ran smoothly and the music was enjoyable and very danceable. And honestly, I enjoyed the excuse to leave around 3pm because there were no people to dance with and, well, why not go home and cuddle and sleep? Of course, I do think that the energy might have been maintained at late nights had the rooms not been split, but the music instead compromised to appeal to both parties. Still, I had a blast — oh, and the food was fantastic. Just gotta throw that out there.

And though I’m not really into self-promotion, I will say that the Flying Biscuits did a great job performing!

Now that the review’s out of the way, some points on why I loved KLX. For me, the exchange was more about the people than the event. I honest-to-goodness love the people I stayed with: Jon Car, Beth Hartzel, Breanna Perry, Dylan Jennings, and Ahmed Elkamil. I also liked getting to know Rob Moreland and Christiane (and her Sugar Glider!).

Some of my favorite moments at KLX:

10. Awkward dances.¬† Examples: some awkward transition into me climbing over Dylan’s backside into a position somewhere close to a duck and dive; lipstick on Andrew Munoz’s shirt; nearly tripping on Corey’s feet while attempting to do the Big Apple at full speed. Et cetera…

9. Gelato. Mmmh. Pistachio and Birthday Cake. Mmmmmh…

8. MORE PELVIS. Including front-out swingouts with a pelvic thrust on one and two.

7. Dinner with Ahmed and Beth on Sunday evening. Super casual, super fun.

6. Dancing with Rob Moreland at 3am at the Saturday Late Night. I mean, no one else was dancing…so he played all his favorite songs, and we danced eight or nine out of ten songs together. Awesome? Yes.

5. Attempting (and failing) to babysit Dylan so a chocolate bear could be iced and then shoved in his face. And then bonding with him when he was nice enough to pretend to let me keep him away from the kitchen.

4.Getting second in the random Jack and Jill with Robby at 2:20am (weird time?) at the Saturday Late night. We dropped it like it was hot, then worked it like we never should to twenties Charleston music…and man, it was fantastic.

3. Performing with the Flying Biscuits! Despite our last minute choreography changes and the fact that we never ran the entire piece at speed with the music, it went fantastically well! (Video is above!)

2. CUDDLE PILES. I mean, seriously. On Saturday morning, I woke up with three men in my bed. On Saturday evening and Sunday morning, I cuddled smushed between two other people, a happy middle fork. I mean spoon. I mean…what?

1. So many beautiful swingouts, and at so many tempos! Dylan Jennings. Ahmed Elkamil. Jon Car. Rob Moreland. Andrew Munoz. Beth Hartzel. Breanna Perry. Robby Jemian. Komi Tepe. The list goes on. Holy cow. So much awesome.

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