Splash Magazines

Club Vanguard

By Payam Emrani

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Free food, free alcohol, and women, well two out of three is not bad, what more can I ask for. Like Alice emerging from the rabbit hole I was transported to a post-modern hipsters paradise with the requisite sushi caterer and various forms of libations. Me and my plus 1 just looked around, nodded approvingly, and went about seeing how much free food and drink we could score.

I think what I was most presently surprised with was the music' Rock n Roll. Finally, a place where someone such as me with music sensibility can go and not lament about the decline of Western Civilization. No one was on the dance floor but I figured the alcohol had not worked its magic just yet and soon there would plenty of women for me.

The physical layout of the club was rather impressive. Plenty of space and cool warehouse feel. The worst part about most clubs is that they are just facades; once you step in them its like going into someone's living room. There is a nice area, which I assume will become the VIP area, with a nice view of the whole dance floor. Best of all there was even an outside area with the requisite Buddha statute and water installations. As first impressions go, this was a very good one. Unfortunately this was as good as it would get and reality would settle in.

Still milling around and wondering when someone would dance? Why is it that when a song you love is being played there is no one around but the second something you hate is played the dance floor fills up. The music stops and out comes the entertainment.

Like a birthday party for grown-ups out came a troop of acrobats climbing sheer curtains and drapery and doing various things. One guy looked like Fabio and one had an eerier resemblance to Danny Bonaduce. Here is a note for future part planners please, please get rid of that ridiculous rings act. You know the one where he says the rings are solid and then magically links them together, who cares. The ring act was wonderful compared to the 'band'.

VHS or Beta came out and I know I was in trouble when I saw the pompadour on the lead singer. See you can tell a lot about a group by simply looking at the way they are styled. Crazy hair and sleeveless shirts means we are post-punk. In essence what post- punk means is we have no idea what punk music was or why it came into being but we cannot play our instruments properly or sing so we are post-punk. Lots of noise then came out of a speaker along with a few audible words. What they were saying is beyond me. Second note to anyone trying to do an event like this in the future, pick a good cover band please. It is nearly impossible to get into music you have never heard. The band mercifully ended their set with some more inaudible mumbling and it was time for the DJ.

At this point I regained some hope because the first set was great. What do I hear to my utter dismay? Techno! For those of you who do not know what techno is please engage in the following exercise. Take your head and bang it against a wall to a beat. My theory on techno and all electronic music is if a machine creates it it has no soul and if it has no soul you cannot really dance to you. If you do play Techno you must play it so ridiculous fast, preferable above 150 bpm, that you can at the very least make an idiot out of yourself. This, on the other hand, was more of a chill techno. Needlessly to say no one bothered to get on the dance floor. I really do think this is a bad omen for a dance club when no one bothers to get on the dance floor.

My advice for this club take a risk and hire some innovative DJs who will play rock n roll, eighties, funk and soul. My second bit of advice is to utilize the space; it really is a great space. All in all it was a good night because at the very least I did not have to pay for anything.

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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