Of all the daily deal, flash sale, and flash-local-deal sale sites that have launched in the Washington area lately, none of them can quite match up to Gilt City for sophistication or excitement. While you might expect some of the deals they have offered since their launch in DC – booklets of airline tickets, fancy dining, and high-end spa packages (not the usual half-off spray tan in Fairfax or other “deals” nobody actually wants) – they also really set themselves apart with their organizing of exclusive events or VIP treatment just for Gilt City members. Thievery Corporation and My Morning Jacket have been among the entertainment featured recently, with more curated entertainment experiences yet to come.
To debut, Gilt City arranged for a private concert at the 930 Club by Brooklyn-based Yeasayer. The $10 ticket price that many attendees paid went to charity, as did an additional dollar when someone shared the deal over their social networks. (Though, as the band joked with the crowd, “Don’t worry. We still got paid to be here.”) As part of the deal, the club’s bar was fully open and complimentary during the pre-show party, so by the time Yeasayer took the stage, people were clearly a little bit lubricated and hugely receptive. To keep up, the band played a set focused on uptempo, room-filling pop music and the audience ate it up, dancing and waving in the wildly-lit room for the entire performance. The energy was tremendous from both performers and crowd.
In the days before the event, I had the same conversation with a couple of people: “They rented the 930 Club? And they hired Yeasayer? Just… For fun?” Yes, I would nod. It does seem a bit fancy – but then all of Gilt City DC’s launch parties were. Had there been any suspicion that the band would phone in this one-off gig, they turned out to be utterly unfounded. If anything, being just off of an active touring cycle seemed to have them in a nice balance of rested but still tightly rehearsed. My only quibble with the evening was how early it ended. I saw people still coming in as the band played the last few songs. I am not sure people are conditioned for a show so well orchestrated and promptly-concluded, so the “fashionably late” types ran the risk of missing out. Nonetheless, to say I wish there had been more of a thing is a fairly minor complaint.