I Struggled My Way Through Dâm-Funk’s On Ice DJ Set

I am a terrible skater, always have been. People always tell me “It’s just like riding a bike, only I don’t know how to do that either. This all came around to bite me in the ass this past weekend during the Red Bull Music Academy’s “Super Samedi Soir” event.

Taking place at Atrium Le 1000, a staking rink located inside Montreal’s tallest skyscraper (1000 de La Gauchetière), the event called to mind the Disco era, a time in which the city’s nightlife scene was vibrant in music, garments, and those partaking in the festivities. For the evening, the rink was transformed into a 70s-esque dance party, with Dâm-Funk handling DJing duties for the later hours of the evening.

Skating was no easy task. Well, that’s actually putting it lightly. Skating was sheer agony, every moment was pure pain. I was slow, and it didn’t help that I started off with the wrong shoe size. Everyone skating past me felt like my life flashing before my eyes, slowing down to the moments in elementary school where I was picked last on teams in gym class.

I was sweating in places I didn’t no it was possible to sweat. On my butt cheeks! In my ear holes! I had more wetness accumulated than whomever TLC told to not go chasing waterfalls. Due to the events theme, I dressed up in my father’s old dance-floor threads he had handed down to me some years ago, only to sweat them out so much, they might as well have been Under Armour.

Finally, the horn went off, signalling it was time for the Zamboni to come and clear the ice, pure moment of ecstasy. It’s how I imagine the soldiers of World War I felt at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

Did I mention this was all in the 20 minutes before Dâm-Funk started playing? Because this was all in the 20 minutes before Dâm-Funk started playing…

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Me, suffering.

Once the LA producer took to the turntables, things started to get a little better. My technique improved, mainly in relation to the fact that I remembered the “Pizza Pie Position” is to be used for skiing, not skating. I got lost in the groovy sounds of Rick James, George Clinton, and other funk’tastic sounds, well, as much as someone with severe coordination issues could possibly get lost in the groove!

There were also a few familiar faces on the ice. After a conversation with hometown hero, Lunice, I learned that there are at least two Montrealers who never quite learned how to skate properly. I’d also be lying if I said that seeing Just Blaze slip on his ass didn’t make me feel a bit better about my own skills!

Just Blaze (left), legendary producer, inadequate skater.

Just Blaze (left), legendary producer, inadequate skater.

If this was a weekly event, I’d probably either take up skating, or become a masochist. The Red Bull Music Academy’s “Super Samedi Soir” would have been a horrible place to take a date, unless maybe you could squeeze out a pity kiss. Instead, I took my friend Will, who seemed to be having the time of his life, skating circles around me, filming, and enjoying me suffer. What a night…