Crowd Review: Vice XMess party at Parts & Labour

When I texted a friend to tell her I was going to the Vice holiday party, she wrote back: “Oh man. Douches.” Not very subtle, but a similar thought crossed my mind when I agreed to go. I was pretty sure the party would be full of terrible people, or worse: people who want to be terrible people. Crass, wild, don’t-give-a-fuck Vice-rs who were inevitably cooler and less worried about anything than I will ever be.

And it may have been, but the basement of Parts and Labour in Toronto’s hip Parkdale neighbourhood was too crowded to tell. Most of the crowd seemed really young, though; young enough to gleefully tolerate the stinky wall of people one had to seep into in order get a (free!) beer. Vice does, after all, have a youthful vibe: full of rebellious ideals, irreverent opinions, and a nasty zest for life in the fast lane. (Yes, I said, “life in the fast lane,” and yes, I stand by it. Albeit apprehensively.)

We left the XMess party before any debauchery truly broke out (it’s hard to stay wild with increasingly death-like hangovers that are induced by shockingly small amounts of alcohol, okay?), but I did get to see a lot of uninhibited dancing before heading out. The most disturbing move occurred when the tallest man at the party started repeatedly punching the basement’s roof with his fist in time to the music. Had the roof caved in on us, the rescue team would have thought they’d gone back in time: all plaid, middle parts, crop tops, black lipstick, scruffy beards, and ripped jeans (the ’90s lived on in the hearts and pants of those party-goers). And they didn’t mind the sweat; it just made their hair lankier and the atmosphere grungier. They danced happily, drunkenly, and without care. It was a true hot (X)Mess: defiant, raunchy, unsophisticated, and strangely enviable.

Review: 3/5 fucks given

 ~ Lisa Amerongen

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