'Tis the season to be dancing in the city.
My family's annual Thanksgiving dinner really signifies only one thing: Frankie Knuckles will be at the House of Blues that night. Entitled "Evolution", his party opened with DJ Alan King setting up a serious deep house groove that quickly filled the dance floor. Around 11 o'clock Alan handed off to Frankie, who dug deep in his record crates to take us on a journey through the soulful peaks and valleys of house music. If you've never been to one of Frankie's events, you are missing a beautiful club experience. Not only is the music incredibly moving and inspiring, but the crowd is second to none.
Nowhere else in Chicago can you find such a beautiful mix of gay and straight, old and young, and
absolutely every color in the rainbow. From club kid to stepper, the crowd is diverse to the nth, making the energy of these parties legendary.
Speaking of legendary, the fabulous Martha Wash graced Chicago with her presence at Reunion Nightclub for
an HIV/AIDS and MS benefit. Reunion you say? You've never heard of it? Well folks, that's my job, I'm here to school you. But back to Martha for now. Divaliciously voluptuous Martha. We all know her from the scores of pop hits she has graced with her unique voice over the years. She performed five songs including "Everybody Dance Now" and "It's Raining Men." This is one diva who knows how to whip a gay crowd into a frenzy. The only thing missing from her performance was more Martha. Five songs is surprisingly short. I hope she returns soon and gives us some more...
So you have never been to Reunion Nightclub? Time for a quick tour. Located in the
Warehouse district near Lake and Halsted, Reunion is one of the many clubs
tucked away along the Green line. The predominantly black crowd parties all week
with gay nights on Thursday and Saturday. No cover except on Friday and Saturday
where it ranges from $10-$15. There is one main bar that wraps around the center
of the club. The bartenders aren't bad, but when they are busy it can take a while to
get a drink. They stock all the usual libations including an extensive cognac
collection. Thankfully, they also have a small menu of bar food, perfect for that friend
who has had one too many drinks.
One of the best parts of the club is the plentiful seating around the club. You can
grab a table and a cocktail waitress will make her way over and keep your drinks
fresh or bring you food all night long. It's the perfect way to people-watch, even if you
happen to have a mouth full of a Maxwell Street polish and fries.
And then there is the music at Reunion. They start the early part of the evenings with
wonderfully mixed house sets, bringing the dance floor alive. The last hour is
dedicated to the top of the charts hip-hop that takes the crowd to another level,
raising the energy sky high. Take yourself on a trip downtown and visit Reunion.
Who knows, you might even run into miss Martha...
Until next time, my heart beats with you in 4/4