DJ CJ and Rich Rok Bring Valentine’s Day ‘Flight School’ Alive
Two seasoned vets of the Iowa City Yacht Club dance party take to the decks again.
The Valentine’s Day edition of the locally famed, but lately struggling Flight School dance party at Yacht Club on Tuesday was a true return to form for all involved. Attendance to the Tuesday night dance parties at Yacht Club sharply declined with the on-set of winter, so much so that the “real” version of Flight School seemed to go on hiatus, in favor of the DIY-styled “All Your Friends Are Doing It” parties, featuring iTunes playlists selected by specially chosen Yacht Club patrons. While the playlists brought crowds back, the dance party vibe was not back in true form until Tuesday, when DJ CJ and Rich Rok took the reigns for the night.
Trade in iTunes for two, fully-fledged DJ setups — both DJs bringing their own sets of Technics 1200 turntables and DJ mixers, each equipped with Serato systems (which allow the DJ to control tunes playing from a laptop and external soundcard using their turntables and mixer — nifty stuff). The music taste was distinct — Rich Rok started off the night with a potent mix of authentic hip hop, MC Guru and the like. CJ layed down some literally flawless scratching on top in a few places, showing off what collaboration between two highly skilled DJs sounds like.
Turnout was low until 11:40pm or so — standard for Yacht Club, which seldom cracks 50 people through the door by midnight, yet can still close with somewhere between 150-200. When it did pick up, there seemed to be a lot of single ladies on the dancefloor (which of course prompted Rich Rok to play Beyonce’s song about such ladies). Guys trickled in shortly after, and the crowd filled out nicely as midnight passed.
CJ’s set was similar in style to Rich Rok’s — lots of danceable, but still very legitimate hip hop — but with more of a upbeat edge to accommodate a filling dancefloor. CJ looked and sounded absolutely on point with both his DJing and scratching maneuvers — it takes a special breed of DJ to not only know how to scratch well, but when (and when not) to scratch, both skills that CJ has for weeks. The set was a short-term throwback to the dance parties of summer, when each and every Flight School would be packed to the brim with college-aged students and townies dancing away the stresses of reality. While the crowd (and more importantly, the overall vibe) was better than weeks previous, it still was nowhere near that of the summer. Nevertheless, a good time. We can only hope it’s a sign of what the spring will be bringing for dance parties at Yacht Club.