- Top 100
April 11, 2012
Decisions, decisions … With the dance music scene growing stronger on the Wet Coast, multiple worthy events are going down weekly, sometimes even on the same night. As a result, fans are being forced to be more strategic when choosing what to attend—and what to pass up until next time. Things like admission cost and the age-old question of ‘who else is going’ seem to factor heavily in people’s decision-making processes, while a central element is often overlooked: the venue. Really, an artist can only appeal as much as the venue does; in fact, seasoned dance music fans might, for whatever reason, only attend parties at a particular venue they’ve come to love. But what makes a venue great? It could be a pounding sound system, a sexy vibe or killer dance floor that makes a venue appealing—it just depends on what you’re looking for! In order to help with these important decisions, the Wet Coast runs through three of Vancouver’s premier dance music venues in this week’s post.
Celebrities, 1022 Davie Street
Having been in existence since 1980, Celebrities may truly be the most successful Vancouver club. As the definitive hang out for Vancouver’s LGBT community, the Davie Street institution has enthusiastically embraced straight folk and all kinds of dance music—leading to some of the best parties Vancouver has ever seen—or heard. What works for Celebrities is this: accessible bars staffed with capable bartenders; an awesome, semi-private bottle service area behind the DJ booth; and a powerful and very clear sound system complete with Community brand speaker components. But, the absolute best thing about Celebrities is the dance floor. It is a cavernous expanse of energetic enjoyment sprawling across nearly the entire club, leading directly up to the unique ground-level DJ booth. Rammed even for opening acts, this emotional space is the gateway to an intimate encounter with a headlining artist, and consistently provides a world-class escape for Vancouver’s dance music fans.
Look for upcoming dates featuring the sounds of Michael Woods, Max Vangeli, and Thomas Gold: http://www.blueprintevents.ca/events_list.php
Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
An integral part of Vancouver history, Commodore has played host to everyone from the legendary Sammy Davis Jr. in 1948 to house producer Axwell in 2011. Designed in 1920s Art Deco style, this huge Granville Street concert hall has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and now plays host to many premier international dance music artists. With a raised, pedestal-like DJ booth flanked by a dead-serious lighting set-up, revelers at Commodore can experience a smashing, big-room feel that exists at very few places outside Miami and Ibiza. With so many years in the biz, Commodore has all the little things ironed out: access and coat check are a breeze, the bars are efficient, and, most importantly, there are numerous tables and nooks which provide a perfect respite–or otherwise–from the action on the massive—and packed—dance floor. So what’s the best thing about Commodore? It’s the ability to connect through music with a community of people who are letting loose. Simply put, here you tap into and contribute to that kindred emotion that is so rare—and so addictive.
Look for upcoming dates featuring Paul van Dyk and DJ Shadow: http://www.livenation.com/Commodore-Ballroom-tickets-Vancouver/venue/139274
Fortune Sound Club, 147 East Pender Street
Tucked away in an oh-so-cool Chinatown location, Fortune is perhaps the most unique club in Vancouver. Boasting the presence of a Funktion One brand dance stack speaker system—and the unparalleled sound that emanates from within them—Fortune has the clearest sound in the city, and is a must-hear for any dance music fan. With a medium-sized and cozy room designed to provide maximum leverage for sound, Fortune, not surprisingly, also plays host to a knowledgeable crowd that rocks out weekly to top-quality dance music, played both by international touring DJs and skilled local residents. In the case of Fortune, the best thing is two-fold, yet undeniably connected: the sound and the people. With quality sound comes quality people. Here you can enjoy the music amongst people who just want to do the same. The combination is fool proof.
Check the Wet Coast’s review of the recent Spencer & Hill show at Fortune: http://www.djmag.ca/2012/04/04/build-it-and-they-will-come-spencer-hill-at-fortune-sound-club/