The best things in life, everyone knows, aren’t free. The best things in life are things other people have to pay for, and you get for free. Like the 1,000 bottles of beer at the latest of Toronto’s legendary Vice parties, if you were early or lucky or special enough to get into the Deleon White Gallery on Friday night.
Or, say, the three hundred Microsoft Zunes given to young “influencers” (bloggers, DJs, other kinds of people who normally use Macs) as part of the shiny new MP3 player’s semi-viral launch. (Full disclosure: we got ours in the mail yesterday.) Microsoft doesn’t like to talk about the (white) elephant in the room—the seemingly unstoppable iPod—but it’s obvious their cross-Canada marketing efforts are aimed squarely at the Justin Long demographic.
And since the Vice party was also a Zune party—which is a bit like inviting your dweeby Uncle Rick and his actuary pals to your next factory loft rager—there were plenty of those “influencer” types in attendance, although most seemed rather more under the influence than anything. As one temporarily teetotalling attendee put it, “All anyone talks about at these things is how drunk they are.”
Well, perhaps not all. Amid the sweaty clusters of MTV staffers, More Proofers, party photographers, and their usual subjects, we collected drips of conversation: “Can I get this on a t-shirt?” in reference to the Andrew Pommier graphic for Zune (the players can be wallpapered inside and out with original designs by the likes of Ndeur, which is a pretty rad point of differentiation from the monotones of MacWorld); “I’m pretty sure this entire party is a DON’T” (this from the Barbie-pink pout of a vodka-and-soda drinker, naturally); “Quest for Fire, is that like a Christian rock band?” (the answer, we’re pretty sure, is thank-God-no).
As the band thrashed on into the night, early adopters and early arrivals alike dispersed into the wet streets, sharing cabs to logical continuations: illegal keggers and art gallery afterparties. A slim-smoking pixie on her cell phone answered a question with a question: “How does every Vice party go? I’m wasted. Where are you?”
Photos by Tim McCready.