A Y2K-themed party? That’s right – it’s not 2000 and late! We rocked up to Flashback Friday at Hard Rock Cafe and got lit.
If you ask me about the 2000s, I’d say, “How much time have you got?” Many things about that era come to mind. Funky (perhaps even questionable) fashion choices such as hipster jeans and belly rings. The Harry Potter series (both book and movie). And the most crucial question: Team Jennifer or Team Angelina?
But my favourite thing about the noughties has to be the music. Battle of the pop divas! Destiny’s children Beyonce, Michelle, and Kelly! Songs with actual lyrics in the chorus! What a time to be alive.
It’s not just me who firmly believes 2000s music is superior. Angelo Wan, co-founder of Unfiltered.sg, thinks the same. That’s what spurred him to organise Flashback Friday by Unfiltered Presents – a series of 2000s parties aimed at millennials who are now working adults. “The idea came about in 2018 when we realised there weren’t any themed parties or club nights dedicated to the 2000s. We could only imagine going to an event that could bring back the good old days,” he says.
So when I came across the latest Flashback Friday event, I pinged my editor about it. “Is that the retro party?” she asked. Oh dear, are the noughties considered retro? No matter. We rounded up the Honeycombers team to hit up Hard Rock Cafe.
The party don’t start till we walk in…
The team decided to go all out for our maiden clubbing experience together. We met around 10pm outside the venue and had “cheap drinks” before making our way in. Basically, throwing it all the way back to what most of us did in the 2000s! Everyone was also encouraged to dress up in Y2K aesthetics to keep with the theme. Go big or go home, right?
To no one’s surprise, plenty of partygoers were out and about. The venue was packed – like sardines in a can – with mostly Gen Z revellers. I felt like a senior citizen on the dance floor. Angelo, however, begs to differ. “Flashback Friday is meant for anyone who grew up to the tunes of the 2000s and even some of the early 2010s!”
Regardless, I wasn’t fond of the crowded space. We barely had elbow space to bust some moves. Plus, there were unfortunate incidents involving puking and bottle-swiping (not us), but I suppose that’s on par with parties.
Where my party people at?
Being a 2000s-themed party, I looked forward to the music. Luckily, Flashback Friday didn’t disappoint. There were mega hits that defined the era, dance songs that got everyone to drop it like it’s hot, and even a few familiar K-pop hits that slipped through the cracks.
My ultimate favourite is Rihanna’s “Only Girl In The World”. When the opening beat hit, I screamed like a fangirl. And I wasn’t alone. The chorus saw the entire dance floor bellowing the lyrics at the top of our lungs. I was transported to the noughties. It really felt like my clubbing days back then. Amanda Broad, lifestyle writer at HoneyKids Asia and part of our entourage, agrees: “It was great to hear music from the noughties again, and hear everyone scream-singing the words.”
Even though the music was top-notch, I didn’t vibe with the entire selection: some certain prominent artists in the 2000s weren’t played. I brought this up to Angelo, who empathised.
“In the short span of four to five hours, it’s hard to fit all songs into one event. The deejays also decide on the spot based on the crowd’s response, so if a certain song isn’t making them dance or sing, they turn it up with something more familiar.”
Britney is one household name, and when her songs came on, it was like a riot. Speaking of Britney, I have a confession to make – the primary reason why I wanted to attend Flashback Friday was to do the “Oops! I Did It Again” choreography on the dance floor. And I did it! I was so proud of myself.
Please don’t stop the music
Everyone unanimously agreed they had an enjoyable time. “It was great to see work friends outside the office; it sparked some great personal conversations. It was also nice having a ‘no work chat’ rule and just getting to know people outside of work,” Amanda enthuses. “I was probably a little more self-conscious than usual at first, but once everyone got into the dancing, we all relaxed pretty quickly. Our crew kept it fun!”
I have to concur. Being out with colleagues is like spotting a dog walking around on its hind legs – it’s a rare occurrence, but it happens. The combination of liquid courage, music, and free glow sticks got us loose!
However, all good things must end. As the clock approached 2am, our merry party slowly disbanded. The DJs started playing a slew of “angry girl music”. There was Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” (another sing-scream club fave) followed by Avril Lavigne tunes. A nearby couple held on to each other for dear life, while a lone girl sobbed. Were they crying because of the music? Or was it just another throwback to 2000s clubbing behaviour?
By then, I was sweaty (though my makeup still looked snatched!), nursing my stitches, and curious to see what songs would play next. When the High School Musical soundtrack came on (“we’re soaring, flying…”), I laughed. It was time for me to fly out of Hard Rock ‘cos I didn’t want to fight with other clubbers for transport home. If only cabs were priced like the 2000s!
So, will I attend Flashback Friday again? Oh, most definitely. And this time, I want to perform Britney’s “Toxic” choreography. Please make space for this geriatric millennial on the dance floor!