Chemical Brothers : New York Centro-Fly

They kick off what feels like a personal party for you and several hundred of your new best friends...

However you found out that Chemical Brothers would be playing at New York’s Centro-Fly tonight, you knew: this one was not to be missed. Forget about the Brothers for a moment and consider Centro-Fly itself. One of New York’s hippest venues, the club has a sunken bar in back, plenty of lounge space on the periphery, and black and white geometric patterns lining its walls, among them concentric circles as dizzying as Japanese TV.

But best of all, the club is intimate and small, so when the Chemicals take the decks around 12:30am, they kick off what feels like a personal party for you and several hundred of your new best friends. You know Tom and Ed have arrived by the deep, funky bass-line that rips through the packed club and continues to string us along for over three hours.

The dance floor is filled with grinning Cheshire cats and whenever it threatens to become uncomfortably crowded, there’s a bit of jostling and it’s fine again in a matter of minutes. Although the Chemicals are playing a DJ set tonight that includes Timo Maas’ ‘Ubik’, The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hears Club Band’ and Azzido Da Bass’ ‘Dooms Night’, they spin some of their own material, too, mostly from ‘Surrender’: their super extended mix of ‘Out Of Control’, as well as ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ and ‘Under The Influence’.

Not surprisingly, the latter is an appropriate theme song for tonight. As it gets later and people retire to the sidelines, these sitting areas become circuses of the surreal. Heads are in hands, there is some puking going on, and some twat is trying to break glasses by dropping a 40-ounce malt liquor bottle on them. The house runs totally out of Red Bull at 1:30am, which could explain a lot, and is temporarily out of water around 2am.

The Brothers slip away some time around 4am and are replaced by Plant DJs and Centro-Fly Saturday night residents Marcus and Dominique. The crowd thins considerably after that and by 5:45am, there are less than 20 people left on the dance floor, including one woman skipping in wide, happy circles.

Mia Quagliarello