Sometimes, silence is the best weapon and an even better turn up.

If you're watching a Silent Philly party from the outside, you'll see people energetically dance with drinks in their hands and sing off-key to music only they can hear. You're watching in silence.

It seems odd. You may even chuckle.

But the joke's on you.

"Don't knock it until you try it," said Eddie Ross, president of Silent Philly. "I've literally seen a transformation happen."

Silent Philly will celebrate its first anniversary Friday at District N9NE with more than 20 DJs and live performances.

Going to a Silent Philly party is like stepping into a pool of cold water, weird and shocking at first, but you get used to it.

The concept of silent parties has been around since the 1990s. Some people call it "quiet clubbing" or "silent disco." Every partygoer gets to curate their own experience.

Here's how a Silent Philly party works: When you step in, you get a pair of headphones. Each pair is equipped with three channels coded by color: red, blue, and green. Red could be throwback hits. Green is Top 40 hits and EDM. Blue has current rap and hip-hop. Attendees can flip through different channels hosted by a different DJ.

You could be on the red station enjoying TLC's "Waterfalls," but then you see your friend jamming out on the green station. Switch. It's Skrillex and Damien Marley's "Make it Bun Dem." But across the room, you see a stranger on blue doing the Milly Rock dance. Switch.

You bond over your shared love and skill of a sturdy Milly Rock.

Take your headphones off and listen to everyone on green sing, "I just get jeaaloooouusss!" while they dance to Nick Jonas' hit, or chat it up with the your new Milly friend.

"It's broken down the barriers of a regular party," said Ross, who has been a DJ for 10 years. "If you want to be social, you can be social. You don't have to scream in someone's ear to get to know them."

It's three parties in one.

For the DJs, it becomes a competition, and it's anyone's game.

DJ Vic B played his first Silent Philly party in September and was pleasantly surprised.

"It was actually more fun than I thought it was going to be as a DJ," he said. "I thought it would actually be less interactive."

The DJs try to take over the party with group dances like "Swag Surfin'" and "The Wobble." They know they've won when the party becomes a monochromatic sea of blue, red, or green.

But victory lasts only until another DJ swoops in and takes over with another hit.

"You got to keep their attention," Vic B said.

What did it feel like when he took off his headphones?

"It was actually satisfying in a weird way," he said. "People don't hear how excited they really are."

When all the partygoers switched to Vic's station, DJs would look over at his computer to see what he was playing that had everyone caught up. They smiled and nodded out of respect - and then tried to get their crowd back. He bonded with his fellow DJs as they occasionally traded headphones to hear what the other was playing.

"When you see a little bit of every color," he said, "that's when you know all the DJs are focused."

While the DJs test their skills, partygoers with different musical tastes, dance united under the red, green, and blue.

Ross says, "This is an opportunity to give so many people from different walks of life a fun time in one gathering."

sballin@phillynews.com

215-854-5054 @sofiyaballin