Buffalo is certainly not without options when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve, and if drunken house parties or glitzy galas are not your thing, then maybe it’s time to ring in the new year with Transmission Dance Party.
On Dec. 31, the DJ pair of Bill Page and Jason Draper will be throwing its latest year-end party at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.).
For more than a decade, the two have been hosting alternative, indie and electronic music themed dance parties, most notably, the duo’s mainstay event, The Cure vs. The Smiths.
With the DJs quietly approaching its 13th annual battle of the '80s favorites, Page recalls that all it took was an out-of-town visit to the nation’s capital for Transmission to be born.
“One summer Jason went to a dance party in Washington, D.C. called Cryfest and it was The Cure vs. The Smiths. Those are two of our favorite bands, and we really wanted to do one in Buffalo, but we had no idea if anyone would care,” he said.
The pair convinced late Mohawk Place owner Pete Perrone that they could pull off the dance party at his club. "It ended up having a line around the corner and they had to stop letting people in. It was a bigger success than anyone anticipated it would be and we went from there,” Page said.
After years of Transmission events, a major wrench was thrown into the dance party series’ cog a couple of years back: Mohawk Place, Page and Draper’s home base for many years, closed its doors, leaving dozens of acts and countless more patrons out on the streets. In order to keep the parties going, the pair relocated events to a variety of venues around the city, some meeting more success than others.
“There were a couple of good ones, but nothing very consistent with the exception of Iron Works,” Page said. “I think Mohawk and our dance parties complement each other. Mohawk Place just has a great vibe. Rick [Platt], Marty [Boratin] and the rest of the crew there are great to work with. It might be a different owner and staff, but they still keep everything very cool. It's very easy and preferable to do the dance parties there.”
Since Mohawk Place reopened in the fall of 2014, Page and Draper have settled back in at the club although with their feet clearly off the gas (“We’ve really cut back”). Outside of some themed nights, New Year’s Eve is the only regular party that Transmission throws these days.
“The first New Year's Eve party was OK,” Page said. “Because of the night and how much bars charge to get in, it was thought we could do a little more and charge a little more at the door but all of that was not for our crowd. All the years that followed we kept the standard door price and things were better.”
Transmission Dance’s New Year’s Edition will kick off at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31 with a $5 cover at the door. Expect cuts from Joy Division, The Cure, Le Tigre, Depeche Mode, The Faint, Prince, The Go-Gos, The Smiths, Lush, Elastica, Liars, Ladytron, Elvis Costello and many more throughout the night. Further event details can be found here.
And if that wasn’t enough to get your through the door, Page has a few last-minute selling points for those on the fence.
“It's probably the cheapest admission for any event going on downtown and it's always a lot of fun,” he said. “It's also close enough to the ball drop that you can easily run there and back.”
“If you've never been to one it is not the typical club crowd. It's just a lot of people that really love the music. Everyone just wants to dance and have a good time.”