Q: How do you pack the Beauty Bar and its patio to maximum capacity?
A: Celebrate The Get Back’s seven-year anniversary.
It was a busy First Friday on October 2. The weather in the desert had abruptly switched from “I can fry an egg on the sidewalk” to “damn, I wish I brought my hoodie." I arrived at The Arts Factory at 6 p.m. to do research for another article, but my main goal of the night was to stay out long enough to hit up Beauty Bar for The Get Back. Before the funky soul dance party began, there was a massive chunk of time to kill…
I checked out Serene’s tattooesque artwork at Group Therapy LV’s gallery; got a hair flower from Enchanted Florists as they raised money for Georgia flood victims; considered buying a Hello Kitty soda can necklace; told Blue Man Group musicians Charles Garland and Matthew Kriemelman I’d be back for their jam session (whoops—I failed on that, sorry guys); wandered past the guy in the tin foil covered baseball cap creating stellar tunes to rival the late Wesley Willis; and decided to forgo the long-ass line for BBQ.
It always feels like an unplanned reunion Downtown on First Friday. Even if you go alone, you’ll run into everyone and their dog. Literally. (Though I believe dachshunds should always be required to wear hot dog bun costumes in public.) My favorite Twitteraholic @Toddness discovered I was downtown and we walked a few blocks to hit up a nearby First Friday house party courtesy of photographer Richard Brian. After sipping on sangria, we walked back to Casino Center without getting shanked to meet up with even more locals. (I kid: Downtown has improved a ton since I went to high school on 7th and Bridger.)
Subsequently, we ended up on Fremont Street surrounded by what looked like a biker convention. Then it was off for pizza at Joe’s followed by Downtown Cocktail Room for some house music courtesy of Carlos Sanchez and a glass of absinthe—or in Toddness’ case, Mansinthe.
By this time it was almost midnight and I was actually starting to worry I had killed too much time waiting for The Get Back’s seven-year anniversary. I wandered past the crazy old lady with the spray-painted pink ponytails and ran into DJ Rob Rob enjoying a delicious-looking gyro and then back to DCR I went, and played catch up with my good pal Jordan Cohen (also from Blue Man). I still hadn’t made it to the Beauty Bar, so I rallied the troops to head over.
The dance party was still going strong with a line of people waiting to get in. A hodge-podge of people come out of the woodwork to get down with some classic 45s on the ones and twos for this First Friday and scene staple. Inching though the bar to the back patio, John Doe was providing the vibe outside by the classic trailer home and one of the Weekly’s favorite residents, Keith Evan, departed from his norm and busted out some classic disco and funk inside.
That darn streetlight over the alley flickered as always. The hipsters blended with the retro rockabilly crowd; the B-boys sidled up next to the folks with neon stunner shades. One guy, I swear, was channeling Shock G, aka Humpty-Hump. Then there were the projections of what looked like the robot from Björk’s "All Is Full Of Love" video doing – what else? – the robot.
The big “hell ya!” moment came when DJ Nu-Mark took the tables. Probably best known for his time with Jurassic 5, he took the party to the next level, tapping the tables and busting out classics that made you want to rob a diner jukebox in hopes of being able to recreate half of his 45 collection.
The whole Downtown scene and events like The Get Back serve as an additional “FU” to critics who say that Vegas doesn’t have good local or guest DJs. Yeah, I’m referring to you, Pete Wentz, who Tweeted while at Wet Republic on Saturday: “In vegas djs let u listen approx 9 seconds of a hook then they hit you with the house remix that sounds like ed hardy would if it was music.”
Granted, there’s commercial b.s. all over town thanks to having to cater to the tourists at large, but I challenge Wentz to hang out somewhere in Sin City he wasn’t paid to be at and check out the rest of our scene, certain club nights included. There are also some cool bathrooms in town where he can take more pictures of his penis or spit on people. (Yeah, we’re not going to let him live those down.)
Just like finding that perfect track on vinyl, finding good music in Vegas sometimes takes a bit of digging. But when you’ve got it, it’s oh so good.