There’s a place for the avant garde in every city. From New York to LA, Chicago to Detroit, there’s an underground current that winds through venues and parties, warehouses and dancehalls, tied together by its disregard for the mainstream and admiration for sounds left of the dial.
In Las Vegas, the underground dance scene exists out of sheer necessity, a response to the tourist-populated Strip. But its momentum continuously ebbs and flows. Soft Leather founder Johnny Love—the Chicago-based DJ, king of the “health goth” movement and ringleader of the electro-hardcore group Deathface—saw Downtown Las Vegas as the next frontier for his provocative monthly LGBT-inclusive dance party. Word of the soiree, held at video dance bar Oddfellows, spread quickly.
“It keeps getting more popular each time,” says Vegas DJ Brock Goldstein (aka Brock G), who began organizing Soft Leather Vegas after Love reached out to him four months ago. “Dance party-wise, I [didn’t] really see a place for the hip, counterculture kids to go out and dance all night,” says Goldstein, who also DJs the event. “It seemed like that was really missing.”
“The inspiration, image-wise, [comes from] the New York club kids of the ’90s,” Goldstein adds. “A lot of people hear Soft Leather and think fetish, BDSM. That’s not really what it’s about.” The music, however—disco, acid house, juke and more—is sexual, energetic and always changing. From full body paint and fishnets to leather harnesses and chokers, anything goes.
Soft Leather returns to Oddfellows on January 26.