Last Wednesday evening might have looked like your typical foggy summer night outside, but inside the Rickshaw Stop things heated up into a muggy spring break atmosphere. Loud packs of girls with cocktails tipping in their hands teetered into bathroom stalls, hair sweat-matted to their necks. A dude built like a snowman melted his jiggling middle against his partner's wiggling backside. The humidity was high as a couple hundred bodies performed wobbly, inebriated workouts to hip-hop from opener Trackademicks and his Honor Roll crew.
The place was the embodiment of an MTV reality show: 18-to-24-year-old party kids everywhere, the legal drinkers chugging alcohol and living up a Wednesday like a Friday. (I had to rescue my discarded coat from one drunk trying to use it as a gym towel to wipe her forehead.) This particular night of bacchanalia was building specifically for a local duo called the Cataracs, the headliners who'd packed so many people into the place by 11 p.m. that the bouncer warned the door guy, "Don't let any new people into the club. We're a full house now." Not only had Cataracs fans grabbed every available ticket before the doors opened, but their parents had flooded the club with calls that afternoon, to ensure, one booker tells me, that "tickets bought with their credit cards could be picked up by their kids at the door."
The Cataracs have an abundance of young fans. If MySpace is still a valid indication of popularity, the duo of Cyrano (aka 19-year-old Niles Hollowell-Dhar) and Campa (20-year-old David Singer-Vine) has amassed more than 10,000 friends. Their single gets play on Wild 94.7. Their label owner shoots me regular e-mails on the group's current status: video by a local director named Taj, who also shot a video for Rihanna; glowing write-up in the Chronicle; a breathless e-mail from a journalist who saw the recent sold-out show at Berkeley's Ashkenaz.
I get that these young guys have a strong following — not only is it in the press kit, it's also in the Rickshaw, fans screaming at the stage as though it's Justin Timberlake up there instead of two Berkeley High grads with a live backing band. Cyrano and Campa milked the crowd all night, clean-shaven studs in tight jeans trading banter about the girls named in their songs, or instructing that the ladies give them a Hell ya. Every call provoked an immediate crowd response.
Written by Jennifer Maerz for The SF Weekly 8/08
released July 7, 2006
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