Overt Operation

The Boogie Knights and That Girl throw the party of the year in Operation: Get Down

"We pulled it off," says Tucci, sounding frayed, a few days after the party, "and the problems that we faced -- for us to come ahead and for the party to not get shut down and to have made it happen was pretty amazing, because we were down to the wire."

There were logistic problems, though. Though most of the partygoers were up on the main floor, the only available water and bathrooms were on the ground floor, and you had to go down the only stairs and through a single door to get to them. With all the dancing and sweating going on upstairs, abundant water was essential. The problem? Once partygoers were downstairs -- where the second and third rooms were spinning drum & bass, hip-hop and techno -- the path leading back up was crammed with revelers. Some had to wait as long as an hour-and-a-half before being let back up, a situation that could have been easily prevented had there been a water stand upstairs. This was when the party was at its worst, and it was this reality that carved the look of panic on the fire marshal's face. But things had calmed down by 4 a.m. -- the climax of the party -- and inside, all was wondrous.

Outside the warehouse, though, a different brand of chaos was apparently ensuing -- streaking and acid ODs. Word has it some bad acid was floating around. The result: ambulances, fire trucks, chaos. The police reported five arrests outside, three for dealing LSD and pot and another two for possession. ("I would love to say something about that," says Tucci, "because the more negligent people are, the more chances they have of ruining a good time for everyone else. That created a huge scare for us.")

In the Oct. 24 Post-Dispatch, Jerry Berger reported, "A Washington Avenue rave party went horribly awry over the weekend, requiring the intervention of St. Louis police officers and the hospitalization of several of the participants," but the "horribly awry" is hyperbole. Considering the size of the crowd and the age of its participants -- anywhere from 18 to 40 -- the fact that five people were hospitalized doesn't seem that shocking; more people were probably hospitalized for alcohol poisoning at this summer's Strassenfest. Berger also mentioned the arrest outside of "a Loft District streaker" in his description of the get-down. But we all know the truth: It ain't a great party until at least one person gets naked.

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