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August 1st, 2010

I started partying [raving] in the late 1990’s and I feel that the raving lifestyle both changed and defined me for a time. During my party years, I really got into the drum-n-bass genre of electronic music and became quite the connoisseur. I stopped going to raves in the early 2000’s but I never stopped listening and dancing to DnB. I was a regular at a San Francisco weekly party called ‘Eklektic’ and got to know everyone that went there as well – the DJ’s, promoters, party kids. It was like coming home once a week; the people became my party family.  When I lived in NYC, I also went to DnB parties regularly and got to know the party scene there too.

As I travel Europe, I am constantly on the lookout for DnB (and now Dubstep, my new electronic music obsession) clubs and parties to attend in the various cities I’m in. When I arrived in Amsterdam I immediately made a Google search for DnB parties in the area and found a few that I planned to attend. I RSVP’d on the party’s Facebook page and immediately got a message from the party’s promoter, telling me that he had added me to the guest list for the three DnB/Dubstep events that weekend! Yay!

AIR club card needed to purchase drinks at the bar... fancy-schmancy!

Friday night I went out to AIR, a newer club on the Amstel canal. I got there at about 12:30am and the place was virtually void of people, with grimy Dubstep beats reverberating throughout the dark space. I checked the space out – it seemed pretty upscale and glamorous, with light shows, a huge projection screen above the DJ booth playing loops of artsy scenes and smoke blowers. Slowly people started to trickle in. Most of the girls were dressed up but the guys were all casual. The people seemed to be very young too – in their late teens or early twenties.

The drink policy at Air was interesting – you have to go buy a card upstairs near the entrance and add credit to the card. The card itself costs 2€ unless you add 30€ or more credit to the card. I just bought a 10€ card and had 8€ credit – kind of annoying, but I considered it a cover since I got into the club free anyway.

The shot-pouring policy in Amsterdam clubs is worthy of note as well. They are very… parsimonious, to put it kindly. A measuring device is attached to the mouth of the hard liquor bottle, and the shot is poured through into the glass, measured exactly to the drip. This is something I’m not used to, as most times bartenders are quite liberal with their pours. Amsterdam leaves no room for generosity with their hard liquor!

Enough of my observations on the liquor purchasing and pouring policies! After AIR started filling up and a DJ change occurred, the music transformed from Dubstep to some type of music (commercialized club junk) that I didn’t particularly like… but I stayed on for a few more hours in hopes the music would change, but alas, it did not, so I took my leave.

Monday night was Cheeky Monday – a weekly DnB party near Dam Square and the Red Light District area. I got there around 11pm and it was already going OFF. The space was small, hot and packed with young people (probably in their late teens / early twenties) dancing and drinking. I bought a 4€ beer and a 1€ shot of ‘red vodka’ (no idea what that was, but it tasted good!) and sat down to observe the crowd and drink my beer.

The music was excellent – really dark, dirty, nasty beats – I absolutely LOVED it. As soon as I finished my beer I got up and pretty much danced my ass off with the kids until about 3am when I decided I should ride my bike back home. The DnB was absolutely amazing though, the DJ played some real old tunes I recognized from the 90’s and it was just hilarious to me to be partying in Amsterdam with a bunch of kids, who were most likely wee babies in the 90’s, and I’m here going OFF dancing my ass off to these tunes I recognized and have loved throughout the years… it was just a real good night.

After a great night in Amsterdam rocking out to my first love, DnB, riding my bike in the cool early morning air along the city streets was exhilarating and also helped to sober me up a bit, which was good, because the next morning I had a train to catch to Berlin!

One Response to “GLAMsterdam”

  1. Michele says:

    I wish I could have been there with you!

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