Subterranean Party Review

Dimmed red lights that sparkle over the crowded heads of the dance floor. DJs are spinning different mixes on the turn-tables. Roars of excitement escaping the crowd as the music blasts from the speakers. Bloody Belle, the MC, works the room with jolts of movement and even a strip tease, which soon inspires others to follow suit. As a growing alternative to Boystown, Chicago's gay nightlife mecca, Chances Dances at the Subterranean is turning Monday nightlife into the new Thursdays.

Front of the Subterranean

     Located in Wicker Park at 2011 N. Ave., right off the Damen blue line station, every third Monday of the month, hidden away upstairs, Chances Dances offers a different type of scene for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questiong community. The purpose behind the functions is to bring together the factionalized LGBTIQ communities, cliques or otherwise grouped apart queers of Chicago. The organization also stipulates that all gender expressions are welcomed to their events. According to Dylan Mira, one of the group's event organizers, Chances Dances is collectively managed by a diverse group of people who work to provide themed events for gays and lesbians that take place outside Boystown and Andersonville. In addition, Chances Dances provides space for grassroots organization such as Dyke March and Small Happy.

     "This is a cool place for queers to hang out. The crowd is not as stuck up and shalllow as Boystown and there's no rich kids going around spending their parent's money" said 26-year-old Erin of Andersonville.

     Contrary to the club and bar hoppers over in Boystown, the crowd is more welcoming, friendlier, and most definitely not as intimidating. When making your little social profile of the Subterranean, think the workers of Urban Outfitters and American Apparel – a vast deviation from the Abercrombie & Fitch and Express people who spend their weekend nights in Boystown. In addition, the crowd seems more artistic, creative and a lot less cliquey.

View from the balcony

     "This is great, it's awesome. I totally did not know what I was getting myself into" said 22-year-old Ashley Haves of Pilsen.

     From the old sounds of Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire, to some new-age stuff, the music reflects the diversity of the party goers. DJs CC Bloom, Reminiscence, Nikka J and Gay Terrorist each brought something different to the turn-table that kept the crowd dancing well into the night. Don't be alarmed if one of the DJs leaves the stage to join the crowd to engage in drunken behavior with other patrons, which probably explains why the events always features at least three DJs. Nikka J, one of the featured DJs, who spins hip-hop, rap, RnB, indie, and some electronic, feels that Chances Dances at the Subterranean not only is a fun event but is also a rocking atmosphere for musical freedom.

DJ spinning a record

     "It's a really fun party, there is no restrictions, one of the only places where you'll hear Donna Summer, some more throw backs and more new music" said 22-year-old Nikka J of Hyde Park.

View from the upstairs balcony

     As far as the bar scene, expect to wait about 15 minutes for a drink. However, the wait could be only 7-10 minutes in the balcony. The balcony also acts as a sweet escape from the livelier crowd downstairs. While upstairs, feel free to crash on the comfortable leather couches in the corner with friends or sit on a bar stool and make fun of all the drunken people on the dance floor. Be sure to take advantage of the $3 draft beers. Not to mention, because it's free admission, buy a few rounds for your circle of friends. Either way, Chances Dances at the Subterranean offers something new for the gay and lesbian community and adds to the booming social economy of Chicago's gay and lesbian population.

People standing by the upstairs bar

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