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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gold Room's VIP too cool, even for Tommy Lee

Some guy in VIP jumped up and down, pumping his right fist three times, only to sit back down on the black leather couch next to his date. He looked straight ahead, past the main bar to his right, toward a thickening crowd on the opposite side of the floor. Ryan Purcell, one half of production duo Street Lurkin and lead photographer of Oh Snap Kid, stared in the same direction - not from the club's balcony, where headlining DJs could spin and clearly be seen, but in a hallway that ran from one second-floor lounge to the other. "If you can't see us, then we're right here," he said into his mic, waving.

As former residents of Le Castle Vania's Fuck Yesss parties, Street Lurkin has also warmed up crowds for Kid Sister, A-Trak, and Steve Aoki. They can command casually-dressed crowds with synchronized spirit fingers and severe bass drops. But last Friday night, in their attempts to open for Tommy Lee (yup, that one) and DJ Aero at Gold Room, Street Lurkin got stuck with a sparse and mostly sober Buckhead crowd that seemed slow to hit the dance floor.

In modern-day MJQ fashion, Street Lurkin alternated between Billboard hits present (Far East Movement's "Like a G6") and past - the duo slipped snippets of the Smashing Pumpkins' "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" in between hard bass beats and zipping synths. Just a few Gold Room patrons started to move. One older male wearing a navy suit roamed the floor as he eyed females likely half his age in skin-tight dresses. One stood and looked toward the ceiling as she swayed her hips and stretched her arms into the air, dancing as if she'd just woken up.

Lee and Aero - an EDM duo that the Mötley Crüe drummer forged in 2000 - took the stage around 1 a.m., after two males greeted them with cheers cutting through the chatter in the 4,800-square-foot club, which still wasn't half full. They quickly inspired two friends in short skirts to get up from their reserved leather couches and step onto a cube of a table, firmly planting their stilettos around a Grey Goose bucket and a silver tray of glasses. An hour later, a barefoot female climbed onto the platform otherwise occupied by Gold Room's resident dancer, and like a drunk air-traffic controller, began twirling around two blinking glowsticks thick as pool noodles.

With a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Lee erratically bobbed as he fiddled with the dials of his mixer and cued technicolor visuals onto Gold Room's screens: Stephen King's It jumped to a three-way make-out scene awash in candy-apple green. The duo even resorted to the S.M.S. track of early 2012, its telltale blips luring just a few more to the floor. People danced, but most of them still refused to step away from VIP, or even lift their asses off the leather couches, just as they'd done during Street Lurkin's set.

"Everybody, finish your mojitos and go to the floor right now," Purcell said into the mic. In response, a group of seven, led by a birthday girl wearing a tiara and a gold sash, skipped the dance floor entirely and bee-lined from the bar toward the crowd at the entrance. Apparently they still hadn't seen (or been seen) enough for one night.

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