Lights Down Low at Paradise Lounge
Last seen: November 28, 2008
Review and Photos by Crystal Akins
After a three-year stint at the 222 Club (222 Hyde St.) and a brief hiatus, Lights Down Low took its final bow at the newly renovated Paradise Lounge last Friday (until it goes underground, anyway).
Let's flashback three years, hiking out to one of the most crackhead-infested corners (Turk and Hyde streets) where fashion-savvy kids spilled out of the petite corridor and took deep drags from cigarettes outside. Everyone was probably already so wasted that any abnormal smells or grit and grime in the bar left one unaffected and shimmying through the cramped space was no big deal...my, have the times changed.
The new Paradise Lounge is a labyrinth of neon lights, multi levels, three bars and two dance floors. After 222 Club made plans to close down, Sleazemore and his team thought the venue would be fitting (but would completely change the aesthetic) until the party becomes a covert operation.
"Seems like a natural progression," said Sleazemore. "Our music selection has become more electronic and there is no strong underground electro party, so why not?"
Not only has the venue changed, but over the years some of the Lights Down Low promoters have as well. The current crew consists of: Sleazemore (founder and only original member), Rchrd Oh?, Parker Day and just recently, Nate Always. All of whom have a few other parties under their belts that are migrating into new clubs too (due to The Transfer's demise).
More changes: The $5 cover charge surged up to $10 and there are no drink specials. Times are hard.
The crowd is still the same, and despite the multiple dance floors, everyone tends to dance in one uniform cluster on the first floor. Change is scary, and so are big, open spaces apparently.
Despite the bigger and better venue that enabled the promoters to bring in a bit more talent (DJs upstairs and downstairs), the second level dance floor was a deserted, barren land. Not sure if it was the DJs and their techno beats but DJs Alland Byallo and Samme Dee were up there pretty much by their lonesome.
Down below were resident DJs Sleazemore and Rchrd Oh? along with Shane King, Swayzee and Mozaic. A live performace from The Tenderlions was probably the highlight of the night if I had to pick one. Actually, I didn't even notice them until I saw everyone bum rush the corner of the DJ booth.
Overall, the social scene is in a transient stage...keep your eyes peeled for those MySpace bulletins or fliers when this party goes underground.
Personal Bias: I'm hyperactive and appreciate romping around in big open spaces.
Random Detail: Apparently this place used to be majorly ghetto and
comprised of a myriad of weird, little rooms. The bouncers were also
super strict on I.D.s, turning some legit ones down.
By the Way: I can't get David Bowie's "Changes" out of my head right now.