Square Dance Discotheque, a silent disco presented by Spark and Spotify, is set to be the hottest dancefloor in Auckland this weekend – and certainly the most interactive. So you’re not completely unprepared, here are five guaranteed bangers from David Dallas and Shapeshifter’s playlists.
One hand raised vertically, the other placed horizontally on top, together forming a ‘T’ shape. In cricket it means you want to review the umpire’s on-field decision; in other sports it might mean you want to take a time out. But on the dance floor of a silent disco it means something quite different – here, it is the universal symbol for ‘TUNE!’
If you’re heading to Auckland’s waterfront for the inaugural Bright Nights festival this Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, prepare to do this move a lot. Among the interactive light sculptures that will stretch from KZ1 to Waitematā Plaza is one called the Square Dance Discotheque – a silent disco with a movement reactive light-up floor designed by Perceptual Engineering that probably has to be seen IRL to be properly understood.
DJing the discotheque are two of the biggest names in New Zealand music – David Dallas and Shapeshifter have curated a couple of playlists absolutely packed with massive tunes. You can see for yourself on Spotify – Dallas’s is heavy on ’90s R&B while Shapey’s is a more eclectic mix of dancefloor-friendly fire. If these picks can’t convince you to have a wee dance in between buzzing out at the other installations and eating glow-in-the-dark gelato, nothing will.
Janet Jackson – ‘Go Deep’
This is a real Connoisseur’s Choice Janet Jackson song. A slightly deeper cut than ‘All For You’ or ‘Together Again’ but still one most people should know when they hear it. Aurally, an awesome selection – people are going to be freaking out thinking someone’s blowing a whistle in the silent disco. All part of the song mate, all part of the song.
Chaka Demus & Pliers – ‘Murder She Wrote’
Was there a ’90s band name more evocative and mysterious than ‘Chaka Demus & Pliers’? It’s just the two dudes’ names – Chaka Demus is the DJ and Pliers the singer – but still. ‘Murder She Wrote’, one of the Jamaican pair’s string of early-’90s hit singles, has aged incredibly gracefully and been sampled by everyone from French Montana to Pitbull in recent years. You still can’t beat the original though.
Pretty Ricky – ‘On The Hotline’
Bright Nights is an all ages, child-friendly event. “Children must be supervised at all times,” states the website. What that means is when Pretty Ricky comes on at the silent disco you’ve got to immediately rip the headphones off your under-12 and take them to get something to eat instead. ‘On The Hotline’ is simply too rude for young ears, not to mention confusing – how are you going to explain what ‘phone sex’ was to a kid?
Jorja Smith X Preditah – ‘On My Mind’
It’s not all retro floor-fillers! This chopped-up hotstepper came out last year and is sure to be among the most Shazammed tracks at the Square Dance Discotheque, everyone frantically trying to get their phone’s microphone to pick up the sound coming through their headphones. Twenty-year-old Jorja Smith won Critics’ Choice at the Brit Awards this year and appeared on Drake’s More Life in 2017 – she’s officially One To Watch.
Ginuwine – ‘When Doves Cry’
Best Prince cover of all time? It’s got to be between this and ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, and you can’t have everyone crying to Sinead O’Connor on the dancefloor of a silent disco. The production on this track is pure vintage Timbaland – listen to those dove sound effects! How good are those going to sound on headphones? Very, very good.
Spark and Spotify present the Square Dance Discotheque at Bright Nights, open from 6-11 pm, 11–13 May at the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland. It is free to the public and open to all ages and experience. Text ‘BRIGHT’ to 332 for more information.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.