Black & Blue
Oct 7 at Palais des Congrès, Montreal
If Black & Blue 2012 can be summed up in one glorious moment, it would be 4am in the house room. DJ David Morales is centre stage; white lights shine down on his shirtless, muscled, tattooed self as he sways back and forth, rejoicing. He’s fully living for his 15-minute Whitney Houston tribute, a gloriously extended “Greatest Love of All” remix. The crowd can feel the love and we are grateful. Montreal’s Palais des Congrès works better this year, as organizers have created an exciting lounge space (with DJ Jojo Flores and others) out of the once-barren no-man’s land connecting the house and trance rooms. Hopped-up guys are having their bodies painted, women are having their hair done, and others are getting much-needed massages. The house room is owned by the gays (including Torontonians Alex K and Biko Beautteah), but the trance room is also packing in the fellas as they take their grinding over to DJ Sander van Doorn’s out-of-body set. As partiers reenergize in the VIP lounge, servers in bow ties and jackets replenish the candle-lit tables with fresh fruit and yogurt. It’s the oddest thing. What must they be thinking?
Northbound Leather’s Dream
Oct 13 at Sound Academy
If Northbound Leather’s fashion show, Dream, can be summed up in one moment, it would be the finale in which all the models parade onstage in glorious unity as NBL owners Anna and George Giaouris watch from the sidelines. This is the first year they themselves have not taken to the stage. Perhaps it’s too hard; perhaps it’s out of respect for their 21-year-old son (and new head designer) Johnny, who died suddenly this past spring. The show itself is a superb amalgamation of his creations and those of six fashion-design grads who were asked to complete the collection. With segments depicting leather-clad superheroes, skin-baring conquerors and leather-gown-wearing dancers, the show goes over well. Guest models include boxing champ Ray Olubowale and fitness model Helen Petras. Post-show, amongst the typical leathermen in harnesses dancing to a killer set by DJ Honey Dijon (and DJ Jimi LaMort in the side room), a couple dressed as rubber-clad clowns turn heads, and a woman in a huge, furry lion head sips a cocktail as security guards nervously adjust their earpieces. What must they be thinking?