History was in the air Saturday night as Skrillex shook Webster Hall on its final club night. Two and half decades after the Toronto-based Bollinger brothers bought the East Village venue, they’re selling it AEG Presents, who will renovate the Hall over the next two years. The torch passing has meant some incredible shows, like Nine Inch Nails on July 31 and the just-announced surprise finale, Action Bronson on Thursday.
As the line stretched around the block for Saturday’s sold-out show, Webster Hall’s staff came together for their last club night meeting. Under the stages’s house lights. general manager John Santiago thanked everyone for their years of service and gave the night’s rundown. The venue’s operator, Gerard McNamee, told everyone that it was an honor to work with them and that he could never express in words how much he was indebted to them. After a giant group hug, Gerard assembled everyone on the stage for a portrait taken by staff photographers.
Nicky Digital, one of the go-to party shooters in the city, has been working at Webster Hall for the better part of a decade. When I asked him what the future held, he said that after being in the city’s heart for so long he now wants to shoot the rest of New York; he knows the reputation from his giant pics at Webster Hall will speak for itself.
The immensity of Saturday’s lineup also spoke for itself as Webster Hall’s resident DJs from Girls & Boys warmed up the crowd ahead of openers Deux Twins and Ekali. At 1am, they handed an entirely packed house over to Skrillex. With his four DJ decks, the floor literally shook with excitement and didn’t let up as the he played hits such as his “Would You Ever” and Joyryde’s “Hari Kari.” At 3am he was joined by DJ Boys Noize and together they performed as Dog Blood.
Skrillex was supposed to end his set at 3:45am but as 4am approached he took the mic and said, “We’re gonna play another hour for you guys and shut this place down with you guys, how about that!” The crowd responded loudly and Dog Blood played even longer than that, as 6am approached. Their extra performance time was an amazing gift fit for an amazing night that no one on either side of the bar, ticket booth, or the stage itself will soon forget.