I’ve got some pretty big dreams. Like everyone’s big dreams, some of those include the exploration of places I’ve never been to, and things I’ve never seen. Considering the fact that I’m thirty years old on a bartender budget, some of those dreams may or may not ever be fulfilled, but it’s necessary to have a bucket list. The one constant that never subsides is the curiosity surrounding venues in various states. It’s well known that upon becoming a part of dance music culture, your imagination runs rampant with the idea of dancing under every strobe light in the USA. Whether we chase those strobes or not is entirely up to us, but in the meantime, I’ve put together a list of the spots around the nation that I’d like to visit at least once. I’ll likely add to this in a future article series, of sorts. After careful research and a myriad of Youtube videos, I’ve narrowed it down to five places I’d be more than delighted to see. Perhaps some of you have already beaten me to them.
1. Smart Bar – Chicago, Illinois
Smart Bar sees a closing time of 4 am to 5 am, which makes me wonder if it’s not actually 7 am to 10 am. From the look of it, Smart Bar could be considered nicely sized but in close proximity to everyone around you, much like a moderately larger version of Kingdom in Austin, Texas. This dancefloor has been governed by the likes of Mark Farina, Frankie Knuckles, and Derrick Carter. Not a bad way to unwind on a vacation.
2. Holocene – Portland, Oregon
Holocene can be described as a venue and a multimedia artspace. Holocene prides itself on hosting most any talent that the artistic mind can conjure, from Minimal Techno DJ showcases to live up-and-coming Indie Rock band performances. Film festivals with live scores and open-mic poetry readings are also housed within Holocene’s walls. I’d go to Portland for a week if I could, to experience this place nightly.
3. Kingdom – Austin, Texas
Allow me to start by saying I’ve been to Kingdom, once. James Zabiela was the headlining act, and that man had the entire dancefloor moving. To say I was impressed with the vibe of Kingdom would be a poor understatement. Kingdom has become notorious for bringing top-of-the-line electronic acts to our great state- far too many to even name a select few, quite frankly. If I ever find myself in Austin again, I’ll very likely be checking their roster before I head out.
4. The EndUp – San Fransisco, California
Founded in 1973, The EndUp has always been a subject of curiosity, regarding my wanderlust. It turns out The Endup has consistently won awards from various parts of the industry, including Best DJs, Best After-Hours Club, and Best Outdoor Bar. The EndUp operates Friday through Sunday, beginning at anywhere from 3 PM to 10 PM, and ending anywhere from 8 AM to 12PM the next morning. It’s properly named, without question. To me, this sounds like the place you’ll likely end up when you’ve decided that you really can sleep when you’re dead. I’d be down.
5. Space – Miami, Florida
I’ve heard so many reviews regarding Space Miami, and not a single one of them has been anything less that extraordinary. Miami is often considered the dance music capital of the nation, and from the sound of it, Space has you covered if you’re looking for a thrill ride. From Paul
Dyk to Erick Morillo, and even a newly-announced residency by none other than Green Velvet- Space seems to have the fulfillment of the nightlife down to a science.
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