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Sleaze Ball 2008 The Villains Lair

What a night - right from the early start, you knew the frocked up and fabulous crowd would make this night a pure delight.

Over 5,000 punters swished into the Hordern Pavillion for Australia' leading costume party... the theme of Villains Lair was definitely taken on board with vampires, 4,000 Heath Ledger Clowns (with one particularly stunning Joker "nurse") the other 1,000 didn't dress up at all - keeping in step with tshirts and jeans (me included, but hey - i was working!) or did the usual leather harness vibe that permeates dance parties (even from non leather folk!). Mixing in with scenic that set the mood, you were transported into a cyber-tronic lair of seediness and sexiness, flanked by four gender bending statues and banks of LED screens.

The volunteers, staff and producers made sure that everything ran smoothly for both guests and media - the one thing we missed this year was the massage people - as after a while of dancing around and taking photos - boy did we need a rub down!

The entertainment kicked off with a super-villain show featuring drag queens, Mitzi Macintosh and Tora Hymen. Although it was a cute number - the intro voiceover (which also did the DJ intro/outros all night) was far too over produced to the point you could not understand it, and was actually painful to listen too. The direction of the number was sloppy and all over the shop - you didn't know really where to focus during the number, and with several leads - it meant that most people lost the point of the show - but for plain colour and movement - it was fabulous.

The show went straight into The Potbelleez set, where they started out with their two big hits, with hands in the air - and then it was a blur of green and black after that... but thats Sleaze Ball... darker, dirtier and hazier than most events.

For most of the night the music inside was a complete let down - at times it sounded like the DJ had just decided to play loops from their GarageBand library. It was disappointing - as dark sexy music does not have to be dull - soulless or monotonous!

The Forecourt presented a bit more of a dynamic sound - with a bit more anthemic hands in the air music - with our favorites, Jake Kilby and Luke Leal being the standouts of the night... reading the crowds perfectly - to the point that people were still dancing through the downpour in the wee hours of the morning, and their sets had a great mix of deep, dark and anthemic - the perfect rollercoaster ride you expect at a Sleaze Ball.

The other item I was at odds with was the countdown clock on the screens... maybe 10 minutes before a show or other happening you could pop up the clock - to let people know somethings about to go down - but seeing it all night was kind of depressing - knowing you only had 3 hours and 15 minutes left to have fun. I would have preferred to see imagery from films and other content that would showcase the great villains of popular culture... maybe even using the scene from Superman where he flys fast around the world to change time - when Daylight savings kicked in - now that would have been cool!

The closing show starred Demi from So You Think You Can Dance, and although a great dance performance, I am not sure how it was placed for the closing number of the show. I would have loved to have seen this at 4am instead of the "bears" rubbing themselves with what looked like mud... with a more "up" number - or singer delivering a kick ass "thanks for coming" show to send punters on their way home.

All in all, Sleaze Ball can be classed as a success.

Check out photos form Sleaze Ball in our Photo Galleries.
Robert Manser

Rob loves his boy bands and has worked with most of them. When it became too hard to work in Australia with the media - he started POPrepublic.tv. Giving a voice to the pop culture scene for over 16 years (check dates depending on when you read this.) In his other life he is a creative director, film maker, photographer and designer... but pop is his one true love. Along with imaginary boyfriends, Nick Lachey and Channing Tatum  (his husband approves).

Website: www.robmanser.com
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